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A resident along Lee Pike in Soddy-Daisy spotted a plane lose control and dive into the water from this vantage point Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, near Camp Vesper Point in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. Due to windy conditions, first responders were unable to send divers into the water for search and recovery.

This story was updated Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, at 8:27 p.m. with information about resuming efforts Tuesday morning.

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UPDATE: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office authorities and local rescue teams have called off the search for the night. They will resume Tuesday morning, according to a news release.

HCSO investigators are working to determine the type of plane, its pilot and/or any passengers, its origin and destination, and its exact location under the water, the release states.

Several specialized divisions of the HCSO are searching for the downed aircraft, including personnel with the Criminal Investigations Division, Marine Patrol, Unmanned Aerial Systems Division (Drone), and the Forensic Dive Team.

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Conditions grew more dangerous Monday night for searchers seeking a crashed plane in Chickamauga Lake.

The crash was reported at around 1:48 p.m. near the Hobo Bluff area in north Soddy-Daisy, said Amy Maxwell, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Conditions grew more dangerous Monday night for searchers seeking a crashed plane in Chickamauga Lake.

The crash was reported at around 1:48 p.m. near the Hobo Bluff area in north Soddy-Daisy, said Amy Maxwell, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

About an hour later, officials found debris, including parts of the fuselage and tail, from a single-engine plane floating in the water and moving south. The area where the debris was found is about 30 feet deep, Maxwell said.

some text Matt Lea, left, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and Amy Maxwell, spokeswoman for Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security, provide details about a plane crash into Chickamauga Lake during a news conference Monday, Jan.7, 2019, at Camp Vesper Point in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. Few details were known due to windy conditions keeping divers from being able to get into the water.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol and Dive Team was searching for more debris, but strong winds and water currents were hampering the efforts and divers had to be pulled out.

Water temperatures were in the mid-to-low 50s, and recent heavy rainfall contributed to stronger currents, officials said.

Search crews were using underwater equipment in hopes of locating what was left of the aircraft.

"The thing is, come Wednesday, it's going to turn dramatically very cold," Maxwell said. "The only good to our side is the fact that we do have sun and no rain [Monday] and [Tuesday]."

The search could stretch into the next few days, she said.

It was unclear how many people were on board, and search crews had not located anyone as of Monday evening.

"Right now, it's looking like the fuselage and whomever was in the plane has gone down with the plane," Maxwell said.

"That's really all that we have," she said. "We don't know how many souls were on board, we don't know what kind of a plane it was, how large of a plane it was, how many [people] it actually carries."

A local resident who made the call to 911 told the Times Free Press he saw the crash from his home nearby.

"I was looking out of the window and it looked like it did a tight loop and it started to spiral down," said the man, who declined to give his name. "I thought it was doing an acrobatic [maneuver] and lost control. Then I saw the crash. I could see the splash on the other side of the cliff."

Maxwell did not say where the flight originated, but several local airports, including Lovell Field in Chattanooga, the Collegedale airport and Mark Anton Airport in Dayton, Tennessee, said they had no reports of missing aircraft.

As of late Monday, the investigation was being handled by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, spokesman Matt Lea said, but it may be handed over to the National Transportation Safety Board. However, that agency is having to prioritize its resources and investigations due to the partial government shutdown, according to its website.

Small-plane crashes in three states that killed five people have not received NTSB scrutiny during the shutdown, the Washington Post reported Jan. 3.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @Hughes Rosana.

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