Yakima Sheriff: No survivors in plane crash
YAKIMA, Wash. - Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin said in a news conference Tuesday morning that there were no survivors in the plane crash near White Pass.
Irwin, joined by family members of the victims, said during the news conference that it appears the plane carrying 10 people crashed nearly straight down. Aboard the plane were 9 skydivers and the pilot. As of Tuesday morning, 7 of the 10 victims' bodies had been recovered.
During the news conference, held about a mile from the scene of the crash, the brother of one of the skydivers said they would have been seat-belted in their seats and not wearing their parachutes.
Ground searchers followed the smell of fuel and found the wreckage of the plane.
Mike Fergus, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, says local agencies reported that one body was recovered, and a search was continuing for the other occupants of the plane. It now appears that no one survived the crash.
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.
The plane was registered to Kapowsin Air Sports of Shelton, south of Seattle near Olympia.
But the nine passengers were associated with a skydiving company called Skydive Snohomish, north of Seattle. They were returning from a gathering of skydivers in Idaho when the plane disappeared.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)