Teams prepare to recover victims, crashed plane from Ridgway Reservoir

MONTROSE, Colo. - Divers will be in Ridgway Reservoir Thursday working to recover the fuselage of a small plane that crashed there, if weather permits.

Five people were killed in the crash and recovery teams have confirmed with an underwater video camera that their bodies are still inside the submerged aircraft. The team hopes to have the bodies and the plane recovered by mid-afternoon Thursday, Ouray County spokesperson Marti Whitmore said.

"Today the recovery teams have been engaged in a great deal of detailed planning and preparations for tomorrow," Whitmore wrote in an email Wednesday. "The weather conditions here may affect the start time tomorrow, or could delay recovery efforts, but everyone involved in this effort is committed to completing the recovery tomorrow if it is at all possible to do so safely."

The single-engine Socata TBM originated in Gadsden, Ala., and was headed to Montrose, about 25 miles north of the reservoir, when it crashed into the water at Ridgway State Park on Saturday. Officials say it crashed about 90 feet from shore in 60 to 90 feet of water.

According to preliminary reports, the pilot reported that the plane was in a spin before losing communication, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said Monday.

Authorities haven't released the identities of the presumed victims.

A memorial service and candlelight vigil was held Sunday night in Gadsden, Ala., for the five victims, three of whom are elementary school age, according to the Gadsden Times.

The tail of the plane was recovered Saturday.

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