WHITE PASS, Wash (AP) -- Additional crews have been assembled at the site of a plane crash in central Washington state, joining the 25-member crew that remained in the woods overnight.
They're resuming the recovery effort in Sunday's crash of a small plane carrying a pilot and nine skydivers back from a skydiving meet in Idaho.
Seven bodies have been found, and there's no sign that any of the others survived. One emergency management official says it appears that the plane "crashed at a fairly high speed." He says he's been told the wreckage was a "horrific sight."
The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to begin an investigation today. The wreckage was found yesterday with the help of radar transmissions and a hunter's report of seeing a plane flying low Sunday evening and then hearing a crash.
Ground searchers following the smell of fuel Monday night found the wreckage of a plane that is believed to have been carrying nine skydivers and a pilot. Authorities say one body was recovered at the crash site, in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, and as of late Monday night, it appears that there may be no survivors.
Tina Wilson of Yakima Valley Emergency Management says the plane was found about 7:40 p.m. PDT. and its identity confirmed by searchers who matched its serial number to that of the plane that had been reported missing a day earlier.
Jim Hall, the director of Yakima Valley Emergency Management, says it appears that the airplane crashed at a fairly high speed. He says families of the 10 people aboard the plane have been notified.
Seven of the 10 on board "have been found deceased," Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin said in a statement, which also said recovery efforts had been suspended for the night but would resume Tuesday.
The Cessna 208 Grand Caravan left Star, Idaho, near Boise, Sunday evening en route to Shelton, Wash., northwest of Olympia, but did not arrive as scheduled.
The plane was returning from a skydiving meet in Idaho when it disappeared.
The single-engine plane is registered to Kapowsin Air Sports of Shelton. Ten people from Skydive Snohomish were scheduled to be on the plane, said Geoff Farrington, Kapowsin's co-owner.
Elaine Harvey, co-owner of the skydiving company Skydive Snohomish, told The Seattle Times that nine of the 10 aboard were either employees of her business or else licensed skydivers who considered Snohomish their "home drop zone."
"These people were beloved friends," she told the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Skydive Snohomish operates a training school and offers skydiving flights at Harvey Field in Snohomish County, about 20 miles north of Seattle.
Skydive Snohomish had nothing to do with the flight to Idaho or the event held there, Harvey said.
Geoff Farrington, Kapowsin's co-owner, said the family-owned company has never before lost a plane.
Based on radar transmissions and a hunter's report of seeing a plane flying low Sunday evening and then hearing a crash, the search was focused on a steep, densely forested area near White Pass, about 45 miles west of Yakima.
One man at a Red Cross center at White Pass said his 30-year-old son was aboard the plane. He displayed a family photo of the young man skydiving with a brother and sister.
"He worked hard and he played hard - we just want to find him," said the father, who did not give his name.
Posted by LS