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Colorado plane crash victims not yet retrieved

Mon., March 24, 2014, midnight

MONTROSE, Colo. – Authorities on Sunday had yet to recover the bodies of five people feared dead after a small plane crashed into a southwestern Colorado reservoir a day earlier.

Sonar images showed the fuselage appeared to be intact and the wings still attached, Ouray County spokeswoman Marti Whitmore said.

Authorities worked to get additional crews and equipment quickly in place to aid the recovery work that continued through Sunday and will resume today, Whitmore said.

The identities of those aboard weren’t immediately released.

The single-engine Socata TBM700 was heading from Bartlesville, Okla., to Montrose, about 180 miles southwest of Denver, when it went down around 2 p.m. Saturday, Whitmore said. It crashed into Ridgway Reservoir, about 25 miles south of Montrose.

The flight took off from Gadsden, Ala., before stopping in Oklahoma, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said. The cause of the crash isn’t yet known.

On Sunday, dive teams from Denver and Gunnison marked the location of the wreckage as efforts focused on finding the victims and the main body of the aircraft, Whitmore said.

“It’s in deep water and it’s in cold water, and we don’t have the right resources in the county” to recover the plane, she said.

The spokeswoman said earlier Sunday that the aircraft was about 90 feet from shore in 60 to 90 feet of water in the reservoir in Ridgway State Park, which will remain closed through today.

The plane is registered to an Alabama corporation. Messages left for the company weren’t returned.


 

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