Small Plane Carrying 6 People Crashes Off Puerto Rico Coast … 5 Passengers & Pilot Aboard were Americans
A Cessna 206, single engine plane chartered by Tropical Aviation Corp., carrying 6 passengers has crashed off the north coast of Puerto Rico and into the Atlantic Ocean. According to reports, the 5 missing passengers and the pilot were all Americans. The plane was traveling from the Casa de Campo International Airport in the Dominican Republic to San Juan, PR. There have been no reports of finding any survivors at this time.
Cessna 206 Likeness, not actual plane
Authorities located a debris field off the northwestern city of Quebradillas, and helicopters and boats have been searching for survivors, Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said.
The missing pilot and all five passengers are U.S. citizens, Castrodad said.
Witnesses reported seeing an explosion on the plane before it crashed around nightfall Sunday about a half-mile (a kilometer) offshore, police spokeswoman Jessica Cardona said.
Rescue crews were hoping the search for survivors would become easier after daybreak.
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Most victims were members of a single family that had chartered the plane to travel to a birthday party. Seven children died.
“It was all very fast. The plane sank very fast,” 21-year-old survivor Brenda Moraes told Brazil’s GloboNews TV. “We only had a chance because we were sitting in the last rows and could open the emergency door.”
Divers on Sunday recovered two dozen bodies from the twin turboprop plane that plunged into the Manacapuru river in a heavy rainstorm the day before, ending rescue operations after all passengers and crew were accounted for, said firefighter Maj. Jair Ruas Braga.