An American father and his two daughters are among those killed in a plane crash in the Caribbean, authorities say

Local police reported that the pilot of the small plane also died in the accident.

An American man and his two daughters were among four people killed Thursday when a small plane crashed shortly after taking off from a Caribbean island, authorities said.

The fatal accident occurred in the waters off Bequia, a small island part of the southern Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Authorities said the single-engine plane took off from JF Mitchell Airport shortly after 12 noon local time and was heading to nearby St. Lucia when the tragedy occurred.

The Royal Police Force of St. Vincent and the Grenadines said in a statement: “Moments after take-off, the plane encountered difficulties and fell into the ocean.”

There were four people on board the plane, including the pilot. The passengers were identified by police as 51-year-old American citizen Christian Klepser and his two daughters, 10-year-old Madita and 12-year-old Annik Klepser.

The pilot was identified as Robert Sachs, who police said also owned the plane.

“Fishermen and divers from Paget Farm went to the scene in their boats to provide assistance,” the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force said in the statement.

The country's coast guard also responded, and after searching the area near where the plane crashed, the bodies of the four victims were recovered, according to police.

Police indicated that upcoming autopsies will determine the cause of death of each victim.

Police said it was not clear what caused the plane crash, as the accident is still under investigation.

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