A private jet carrying four people, including the pilot, crashed off the Latvian coast on Sunday evening. The Austrian jet was scheduled to land in Germany, but instead of making a landing, it continued to fly across Europe.

Air traffic controllers tried to contact the jet flying from Jerez in southern Spain to Cologne-Bonn airport in Germany, but all in vain. The Latvian civil aviation agency said in a statement that they were unable to make contact with the plane after it changed course.

German media reported that the plane had reported cabin pressure issues before going off the radar. The plane flew erratically before turning twice near Paris and Cologne, per a report in DW.

It is being reported that the plane was carrying a family of three: a man, a woman, and a child. However, the authorities have not provided any information to confirm the same.

NATO fighter jets from Germany, Denmark, and Sweden were sent out to make visual contact with the crew, but "they saw no one" Swedish search and rescue operation leader Lars Antonsson told AFP.

Antonsson said that the plane flew relatively steadily before it started losing altitude near the Latvian coast and crashed "when it ran out of fuel." The plane crashed into the sea off Ventspils.

"We have no explanation at all, we can only speculate...but they were clearly incapacitated on board," he added.

Aviation experts believe that cabin pressure issues could cause the people onboard to lose consciousness, and it can happen quickly.

Rescue teams from Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden rushed to the crash site. A Stena Line ferry travelling from Ventspils to Norvik in Sweden was also redirected to the site, but to no avail. Apart from small pieces of debris, there has been no sign of any survivors.

The Austrian-registered Cessna 551 aircraft was owned by Cologne-registered GG Rent. The company has not issued any statements yet.

Representational image by Erik Christensen, Porkeri (Contact at the Danish Wikipedia), CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons