4 dead after small plane crashes outside of Houston

HOUSTON – The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating a plane crash in west Harris County on Friday. The accident happened just after 4 p.m.

A small plane took off from West Houston Airport at 18000 Groschke Road and crashed in the woods nearby, according to officials. The plane caught fire in the woods a quarter-mile east of the runway. The plane was destroyed by fire after impact.

All four passengers died when the single-engine Piper PA-32 went down, officials said.

"The plane is completely destroyed and burned," DPS officer Stephen Woodard said. "Right now this is a terrible time for this community because this is a flight community. A lot of folks in this community own planes and they're pilots as well. So it's a trying time." 

It is unclear what caused the plane to crash at this time.

The Westlake Fire Department is on the scene as well.