2 Dead, 6 Possibly Missing After Planes Collide Over Lake

It happened Sunday over Idaho's Lake Coeur d'Alene
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2020 7:33 AM CDT
2 Dead in Mid-Air Plane Collision Over Idaho Lake
Boaters flag down authorities on Lake Coeur d'Alene on Sunday in Idaho.   (Stephanie Hammett/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Two people are confirmed dead and as many as six others are missing after two planes collided on Sunday afternoon over an Idaho lake, NBC News reports. Per the Spokesman-Review, the crash that took place around 2:20pm local time over Lake Coeur d'Alene involved a single-engine Cessna TU206G and a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Lt. Ryan Higgins, a spokesman for the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, says two bodies were recovered, though they haven't yet been identified, and he says initial reports suggest there were eight passengers and crew in total on board, though that hasn't been confirmed. Authorities don't know what caused the crash and don't expect to find any survivors.

One witness tells the Spokesman-Review that from his boat on the lake he saw what seemed to be an "engine explosion" on a seaplane flying about 200 feet above him, and that one of the aircraft's wings separated before the plane plunged into the water. Another witness, a pilot himself, says he could tell by the way the planes sounded that they were moving fairly quickly. A third group that "screamed bloody murder" when they witnessed the crash from their boat tells KXLY they rushed to the wreckage scene and kept two bodies they saw "from floating away." Higgins says that officials have used sonar to pinpoint the planes at nearly 130 feet underwater. County divers aren't equipped to go that deep, so a commercial diving group will likely need to be recruited to search the wreckage, Higgins adds. The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB will be investigating the crash. (More plane crash stories.)

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