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UPDATE: Team brought in to remove Colorado plane wreckage

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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MONTROSE, Colo. -- A salvage team is being brought in to pull the wreckage of a single-engine plane from a southwestern Colorado reservoir.

The team is scheduled to arrive by Wednesday and start recovery work Thursday at Ridgway Reservoir, where the plane from Alabama crashed on Saturday.

Divers confirmed Monday the bodies of all five victims are still inside the wreckage of the Socata TBM700, which is upside down and partially buried in silt under about 60 feet of water. Authorities say the wreckage must be pulled to shore before they can safely remove the bodies.

Authorities haven't released the victims' identities but said the flight originated in Gadsden, Ala., and was flying to Montrose, about 25 miles north of the reservoir.

Witnesses say they heard the plane's engine struggling before the crash.


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A small plane believed to be carrying five people crashed into a reservoir in southwestern Colorado and authorities say all are feared dead.

The single-engine Socata TBM700 was flying from Bartlesville, Okla., to Montrose, about 180 miles southwest of Denver, when it went down Saturday, Ouray County spokeswoman Marti Whitmore said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the crash occurred just before 2 p.m., but he didn't yet know its cause.

Rescue efforts started in the afternoon and were suspended shortly after sundown until Sunday morning, Whitmore said.

Whitmore said no one is believed to have survived, but no victims have been recovered.

She said the aircraft crashed in Ridgway Reservoir, about 25 miles south of Montrose. It went down about 90 feet from shore in 60 to 90 feet of water.

The identities of the occupants were being withheld until relatives could be notified.

The plane is registered to an Alabama corporation. Messages left for the company Saturday evening weren't immediately returned.

Whitmore said recovery work will continue Sunday. The Ouray County sheriff's office said a dive team and additional resources were expected to take part.

Colorado State Parks has closed a nearby campground and day facilities, pending completion of the recovery efforts.

The crash occurred several weeks after three people died when a plane crashed after taking off from Telluride airport.


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