A single-engine Piper PA-46 plane crashed Tuesday morning just south of the Yoakum Municipal Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Yoakum, a Texas city of about 6,000 people, is located about 100 miles east of San Antonio.
Of the five people on board, one flight crew member and three passengers died, according to the FAA.
The plane was “destroyed” in the crash, the FAA reported. Images from the scene show a small plane surrounded by debris in a grass field.
Harvest Church in the Memphis suburb of Germantown, Tennessee announced Tuesday that the plane’s passengers were members of the church.
The church identified the four passengers who died as Bill Garner, executive pastor at Harvest Church; Steve Tucker, an elder at the church; and church staff members Tyler Patterson and Tyler Springer. Lead pastor Kennon Vaughan was also injured in the crash and is in stable condition at a Texas hospital, according to the church.
While the church’s statement on Facebook did not mention the plane crash, a representative of the church confirmed that the four men died in a plane headed to Yoakum, Texas. Tucker was the pilot of the plane.
“All were beloved members of Harvest Church and their loss currently leaves us without the proper words to articulate our grief,” the church said, adding that its worship center was open Tuesday evening for members wanting to pray and mourn.
One of Harvest Church’s partners is located in Texas, about two hours from where the crash occurred, according to the church’s website.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash. The plane crashed “under unknown circumstances,” the NTSB said in a statement. An NTSB investigator will arrive at the scene Wednesday to examine the plane.