— -- A pilot and two passengers are dead after a small plane en route from South Carolina to Connecticut crashed on Long Island, New York, officials say.
According to Nassau County Police, the plane came down in the hamlet of Syosset at 3:45 p.m.
Initially, police said it suffered an “an unknown problem." But at an NTSB briefing this evening, senior NTSB air safety investigator Robert Gretz said that the pilot of the aircraft made a distress call prior to the crash, reporting an issue with the plane’s instrumentation panel -- possibly the loss of the panel.
Gretz says the plane broke up before reaching the ground and the debris field spans about 2 miles.
He added that at this time there is no indication that the plane ran out of gas. The NTSB's investigation continues.
Despite the large debris field, which is near several schools, there were no injuries on the ground.
Most of the children had already been dismissed, but the superintendent told ABC News he will keep the remaining students at South Woods Middle School, Berry Hill Elementary and Syosset High School in their respective buildings for the time being.
The FAA says the Beech BE35 aircraft crashed on Cold Spring Road in Syosset as it was heading to Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.