FAA: 3 dead in small plane crash in central Ill.

By the Associated Press | July 24, 2011 | 1:29 PM EDT

RANTOUL, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say three people are dead following the crash of a single-engine plane that was taking off from the airport in the central Illinois city of Rantoul.

FAA spokesman Roland Herwig says the crash of the Piper PA 46 plane killed all three people on board. He says federal authorities were notified of the crash before 10 a.m. Sunday.

Herwig says the plane was destroyed by fire.

Rantoul Police Chief Paul Farber says the dead are believed to be residents of Champaign County in east-central Illinois.