Three people are dead after a small aircraft crashed at the Laredo International Airport in Texas on Thursday morning. The plane, a twin-engine Piper-31, the Laredo Morning Times reports, went down after smoke emerged from one of the aircraft's engines, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Lynn Lunsford. The plane exploded into flames upon crash landing, images and video footage show. According to Lunsford, the plane took off from the airport and turned back to land after the pilot noticed the smoke. The identity of the three passengers remains unknown, Lunsford said. The plane was registered to Robert R. Marshall from the nearby town of Bruni, who serves as CEO and president of passenger and freight aircraft charter service, Marshall Aviation, according to the Morning Times. Operations at the airport were suspended Thursday as a result of the incident. Authorities are investigating the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified of the incident, according to the Morning Times, and will oversee the investigation going forward.