updated 10/25/2006 11:25:21 PM ET 2006-10-26T03:25:21

A plane crashed Wednesday after its pilot reported icing on the wings, and three people were believed to have been killed, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

The four-seat, single-engine Cirrus SR22 crashed about 80 miles east of Las Vegas, said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. It was on its way to Phoenix from the San Francisco Bay area.

“The pilot was trying to detour around some bad weather but apparently got caught up in it,” he said.

A helicopter crew from the Mohave County sheriff’s department spotted the wreckage in rugged terrain, Gregor said.

“The plane was destroyed,” he said. “Searchers reported that they saw three bodies and it appeared as if all three were fatalities.”

The plane is designed to deploy a parachute in an emergency, but it was unclear whether it deployed. The plane was owned by a New Orleans-based company.

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