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3 deceased found on board overdue aircraft

8:56 AM, Dec 13, 2013   |    comments
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MESA COUNTY - The bodies of three adults were found on board a Piper Single Engine Prop Airplane that crashed in a remote area located east of Collbran, according to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

Before leaving the Mesa Mack Airport on Thursday, those on board the aircraft informed the airport manager they would be looking for livestock on the Grand Mesa, but the airport manager did not know their route or their destination.

After the manager of the Mesa Mack Airport was notified that the aircraft was overdue on its scheduled return to the airport on Thursday, the Civil Air Patrol, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and the High Altitude National Guard launched a search effort to locate the missing plane.

The Civil Air Patrol spotted the crashed airplane from the air around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

"Mesa County Search and Rescue Snow Skippers responded immediately to the scene and confirmed it was the missing plane and it had crashed due to causes that have not yet been determined. Unfortunately, all three occupants were found deceased with the airplane," the Mesa County Sheriff's Office said in a blog post.

Deputy Ben Carnes of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office said that search and rescue crews are working to recover the bodies from the aircraft. He said after the bodies have been identified next of kin will be notified. Carnes said he did not know when the names of the deceased would be released to the public.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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