5 victims found inside wreckage of plane in Ridgway Reservoir

Special recovery team coming Wednesday

OURAY COUNTY, Colo. - Underwater video equipment showed recovery crews that five victims remain inside the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in Ridgway Reservoir.

Video equipment was used to peer inside the wreckage under water Monday and that the bodies of the five occupants were seen inside, officials from the Ouray County Sheriff's Department confirmed to 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn. The location of the fuselage was identified by sonar and dive teams Sunday.

"Due to the extensive damage and orientation of the wrecked plane, divers cannot safely recover any of the victims until the wreckage can be brought to shore," Ouray County Attorney and Public Information Officer Marti Whitmore wrote in a press release.

A specialized aviation salvage team will be on site Wednesday to help recover the wreckage and the victims inside.

The plane -- a single-engine Socata TBM700 -- crashed at 1:50 p.m. Saturday.

Preliminary data gathered by the NTSB indicate the pilot reported that the plane was in a flat spin before losing communication.

The reservoir is within Ridgway State Park and is about 30 miles south of Montrose.

The aircraft had departed from Bartlesville, Okla. and was headed to Montrose, according to Ian Gregor with the FAA.

"The plane crashed about 90 feet from shore in 60 to 90 feet of water," officials said.

Ridgway State Park remains closed so that search and recovery efforts can continue.

The tail of the plane was towed to the park marina Saturday afternoon.

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.

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