A wayward and unresponsive business plane that flew over Washington DC on Sunday afternoon caused the military to scramble a fighter jet before the plane crashed in Virginia, officials said.
The fighter jet caused a loud sonic boom that was heard across the capital region.
Hours later, police said rescuers had reached the site of the plane crash in a rural part of the Shenandoah Valley and that no survivors were found.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the Cessna Citation took off from Elizabethtown, Tennessee, on Sunday and was headed for Long Island’s MacArthur Airport.
Inexplicably, the plane turned around over New York’s Long Island and flew a straight path down over DC before it crashed over mountainous terrain near Montebello, Virginia, around 3:30 p.m.
It was not immediately clear why the plane was nonresponsive, why it crashed or how many people were on board.
The plane flew directly over the nation's capital, though it was technically flying above some of the most heavily restricted airspace in the nation.
A US official confirmed to the press that the military jet had scrambled to respond to the small plane, which wasn't responding to radio transmissions and later crashed. The jets were not responsible for the crash.
The official was not authorised to publicly discuss details of the military operation and spoke on condition of anonymity.