UPDATED – Nearby: 1 dead after small plane crashes by Fragrance Lake in Larrabee State Park

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Stock graphic - Discover Ferndale

Multiple aid agencies were dispatched around 7:50pm tonight after there was a report of an emergency beacon from an unknown aircraft south of the Bellingham International Airport.

According to emergency radio traffic, there was a witness on the ground on Eliza Island who said they heard what sounded like a plane in distress. Another person reported receiving an emergency beacon signal and they helped guide searchers to the area near Fragrance Lake.

About 9:15pm fire and aid units were dispatched to a location south of Bellingham on Cleator Road near Fragrance Lake where a wreckage had been reportedly located.

No further information regarding the plane, its passengers, if it took off from Bellingham International Airport or where it was flying to were available at the time this story was written.

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UPDATE 10:30pm
KOMO News spoke with South Whatcom Fire Authority officials and is reporting one body had been located at the crash site. Click here to read their report.

UPDATE 11pm
Jeff Parks, Undersheriff, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, released the following information:

This evening around 8pm reports were received by 911 dispatch of a possible aircraft down in a general area thought to be 5 miles south of the Bellingham International Airport. US Coast Guard and local first responders began checking on reports of a small plane that had radio contact with air traffic control advising that the plane was going down. Radio contact was lost and the exact location was unknown. A US Customs and Border Protection helicopter located the scene of a crash involving a small plane in the Chuckanut Mountain area south of Bellingham. Fire and law enforcement units responded and were guided into the scene of the crash by the CBP air unit. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Deputies were able to locate and assess the crash scene. It appears that there are no survivors. Initial information is that the plane, a single engine fixed-wing, was being flown to Bellingham from Snohomish County for maintenance, according to one of the owners of the plane. That person believed that the pilot would have been the only occupant. The NTSB has been notified and is in route. The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a grid search of the area to confirm that there are no other persons involved in the crash.

WCSO will be working with the Medical Examiner and NTSB investigators, providing scene security until further investigation of the site can be commenced.  The site is several miles behind a closed, gated area and will be restricted access until recovery has been made.

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We are working to confirm identity of the pilot and notify next of kin.