updated 6/4/2007 7:13:13 PM ET 2007-06-04T23:13:13

A medical transport plane carrying six people went down Monday afternoon in Lake Michigan shortly after the pilot signaled an emergency, authorities said. There was no word on survivors.

The pilot of the Cessna Citation issued a distress signal within five minutes of taking off from General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said.

The plane carrying two crew members dropped off radar screens just after the pilot requested to return to the airport, and authorities notified the Coast Guard, Molinaro said.

Coast Guard searchers found what they believe was the plane around 4:20 p.m., about 20 minutes after being notified, Petty Officer David Warfel said.

Medical transport planes typically carry patients or organs for transplants, Milwaukee Fire Lt. Lawrence Jenkins said, but he did not know what the plane was transporting.

The plane was headed for Willow Run Airport near Detroit, Molinaro said.

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