3 North Georgia residents killed in small plane crash

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It happened near the Union County Airport in Blairsville just after 7:30 Wednesday night.

A small plane crash near a North Georgia airport killed three people and sent a fourth person to an area hospital in critical condition, authorities confirmed.

The single-engine Piper plane crashed near the Blairsville Municipal Airport on Wednesday just after 7:30 p.m., the Union County Fire Department and Emergency Management Agency said in a statement.

The three people killed were identified Thursday as Blairsville residents: 56-year-old Robert Atkinson, 55-year-old Renea Greiner and 50-year-old Michelle Seay.

The injured person was flown to a nearby hospital in critical condition, officials said.

The victims were nurses and a pharmacist who were well-known in the community, Channel 2 Action News reported.

The plane was found next to an open field near the airport, officials said.

The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.

Union County borders North Carolina, and Blairsville is about 100 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.