A propeller plane carrying 17 passengers and two crew members crashed Monday just off Miami Beach, killing at least 12 people, authorities said.
The Chalk's Ocean Airways plane crashed into the water shortly before 3 p.m., said Miami Beach Fire Department support services chief Javier Otero. He said there were survivors, but didn't say how many.
"We're still trying to get people out of the water," Otero said.
Otero said the plane was one that regularly schedules flights to and from the Bahamas, but he did not know immediately whether the aircraft was incoming or outgoing.
Television helicopter footage showed a debris field in Government Cut, the channel that ships take into the Port of Miami past South Beach. Law enforcement boats and helicopters were in the area doing searches. The were joined by others in private boats, on Jet Skis and on surfboards.
A witness, Frank Amadeo, told WSVN-TV that he saw a huge explosion in the sky and the plane fall behind a condominium tower on Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach.