Five victims found inside plane wreckage, not identified


RIDGWAY RESERVOIR, Colo. Crews were able to successfully locate all five victims inside the wreckage of the plane in Ridgway Reservoir this afternoon.

Video images taken by the remote camera were confirmed by the dive team, and closer inspection of the wreckage has revealed extensive damage to the plane.

Due to the extensive damage and orientation of the plane divers cannot recover any of the victims until the wreckage can be safely brought to shore.

An aviation salvage team specializing in this type of wreckage will be on-site Wednesday to assist with the recovery.

Multiple officials from different agencies in Ouray County gathered at Ridgway Reservoir Sunday evening at a press conference to explain the continued search and rescue efforts for the plane that crashed Saturday afternoon.

Marti Whitmore with Ouray County said search and rescue operations focused on locating the victims and the fuselage, or the planes main body section.

After a dive team investigated, they believe it's under 60 to 70 feet of water. Special sonar equipment was brought in by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and so were search dogs to pinpoint the plane.

It has been confirmed by crews that the fuselage is in tact with exception of the tail section. Crews still don't know if they can get the pilot or others out of the plane.

"I'd like to express how sad we are that this incident happened as tell the families and the loved ones of the victims and their communities that your friends and family members are in our thoughts and prayers," Lynn Padgett, Ouray County.

The Ouray County Corner is in contact with family and said they are in full support of efforts they are making.

A hazmat consultant has been on scene, but said it is not being treated as a hazmat situation as not enough material is in the water, but officials are monitoring the movement of the plane.

A second dive team with more advanced equipment will start recovery efforts on Monday.

Five people are believed to be on board but the Corner has yet to release any identifications.

Ridgway State Park remains closed to the public on Monday and officials will re-assess the situation to see if they can open sections of the park on Tuesday.

The NTSB and FAA are still working to find out the cause of the crash.


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