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Seven dead in small plane crash in Canada

[TORONTO] Five Americans and two Canadians were killed when a small airplane crashed in a wooded area on the north shore of Lake Ontario, Canada's transport safety agency said Thursday.

The US-registered single-engine Piper PA-32 plane departed Toronto's Buttonville Airport and was apparently headed to Quebec City when it crashed on the approach path to the Kingston, Ontario airport on Wednesday just after 5pm local time (2200 GMT), Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigator Ken Webster told a press conference.

Emergency services, including police on all-terrain vehicles and a military search and rescue helicopter, were dispatched to locate the downed plane, which was found in an area that is hard to reach due to thick brush.

"Five Americans and two Canadians were aboard," TSB spokeswoman Nora Vallee told reporters.

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Canadian media reported that the pilot was from the state of Texas and the plane was carrying his girlfriend, three children aged three, 11 and 15 along with two Canadians.

Government investigators were busy throughout the day "taking pictures of the wreckage, looking at the condition of the engines and the general condition of the aircraft," TSB spokesman Alexandre Fournier told AFP.

He added that they would also try to recover the plane's flight recorder and review radio communications with control towers.

The identities of the victims were not released.