updated 7/8/2009 8:43:02 PM ET 2009-07-09T00:43:02

The Coast Guard is searching for five people whose plane went down off Florida's Gulf Coast.

Authorities say the twin-engine Cessna was flying from McKinney, Texas, when it went down Wednesday afternoon about 20 miles west of Port Richey.

The twin engine Cessna left from Collin County Regional Airport en route to Tampa about 10 a.m. The Federal Aviation Administration says air traffic controllers in Jacksonville lost radio and radar contact with the plane at 1:52 p.m. after it reported encountering turbulence.

The Coast Guard says it has been searching for the aircraft since about 3 p.m.

Records indicate the plane is owned by Q4 Aviation in Carrollton, Texas.

The identities of the passengers have not been released.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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