TEN people are presumed dead after witnesses described seeing a plane "nosedive" into the water in Washington on Sunday.

The float plane was carrying a child and nine other people during the horror crash on Whidbey Island north of Seattle.

The Coast Guard launched an urgent search after the float plane went down in Mutiny Bay west of Whidbey Island at 3.11pm local time.

It left Friday Harbor and was headed toward Seattle Tacoma International Airport at the time of the wreck.

One body has been recovered so far after first responders from South Whidbey Fire, Island County Sheriff’s Office, and Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office rushed to the crash site.

The remaining nine passengers are still missing and are presumed to have died in the crash, fire officials told local media.


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At least one child was onboard the plane, though no further details about the pilot or passengers have been released.

Witnesses described seeing the plane "nosedive" into the water, Lieutenant Jon Gabelein of South Whidbey Fire said.

The numerous teams involved in rescue efforts will have to face new hurdles at nightfall as the search continues, the lieutenant said.

"The darkness right around the corner will be our next challenge…

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"We’ll continue to search the debris in the area, following the tide and the currents.

"As time goes on, we’ll have the lights and the helicopter has night capabilities as well." 

Pieces of the plane have begun to be collected by the search teams, according to KING5 Seattle.

The Coast Guard released a statement about the crash at 7.44pm PST.

It read in part: "Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Command Center received a report at 3:11 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) that a float plane crashed with nine adults and one child aboard. 

"The plane was en route to Seattle Tacoma International Airport after departing from Friday Harbor."

Concluding the statement, the Coast Guard confirmed that "one deceased individual was recovered by crews on scene.

"Nine individuals remain unaccounted for, and a safety zone has been put into effect to help facilitate search efforts."

At least eight ships were seen searching into the evening.

Mutiny Bay, the crash site, is roughly an hour north of Seattle.

The aircraft involved is a 55-year-old de Havilland Canda DHC-3 Otter, according to Flightradar24.

Locals reported hearing a loud boom from up to three miles from the crash site, according to FOX13.

South Whidbey Fire and EMS crews are assisting the Coast Guard with the search.

Five parties in total are currently seeking survivors.

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The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash, they stated.

No cause of the incident is known at this time, per the statement from the Coast Guard.

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