MORRISVILLE, N.C., FEB. 19 -- A commuter plane crashed in heavy fog tonight after takeoff from Raleigh-Durham Airport, and all 12 people aboard were feared dead, officials said.

American Eagle Flight 378 was en route to Richmond with 10 passengers and two crew members when it went down in a wooded area at 9:27 p.m. about a mile from the 10,000-foot runway, said airport spokeswoman Teresa Damiano.

"I show them as fatal," said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman V.H. Steed of the 12 aboard the twin-engine turboprop Swearingen.

{"It was foggy up there, but you know we have no idea what caused the crash," Steed told United Press International. "They won't know until they look at the crash site." FAA officials told The Washington Post that the plane did not gain enough altitude to appear on air traffic controllers' radar.

{The National Transportation Safety Board is sending investigators headed by James Kolstad to probe the accident, board spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz said.}

Witnesses said they heard an explosion and saw a fireball before the twin-engine plane with a seating capacity of 19 went down near a small residential area, Damiano said. She said no homes were hit.

"There are no anticipated survivors," she said. "Indications are that the plane is in several pieces. There was a small bit of fire that was contained. There was no indication to the tower that the plane was in any danger prior to takeoff."

Shortly after midnight, a woman who declined to give her name said at the airport that her 13-year-old son was on the plane. She said she had no official word on his fate.