Five people are reportedly dead after a light plane crash in Central California. The plane crash took place near Bakersfield on Saturday afternoon, according to the authorities. It was a private plane that was taking off from an airport in San Jose, as reported by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
Five bodies of the dead passengers have been recovered amidst the wreckage of the plane. The wreckage of the plane was found in an orchard lying southwest of Bakersfield. However, as reported by the Associated Press, the bodies haven’t been identified as of yet. The plane was a single-engine Piper PA32 and was heading to Las Vegas, as Associated Press reports.
Efforts are underway to identify the casualties of the plane crash and notify their kin of the incident. As the Sheriff’s Office reports, identification of the victims of the crash is not expected before Monday.
“The aircraft is in a debris field… in an almond orchard, so it’s going to take a lot of footwork to conduct the investigation,” Sgt. Mark King representing the Kern County Sheriff’s Office told CNN.
“We do not expect to have positive identification of the passengers until Monday,” he further added.
The plane had sent out signals of distress before it completely disappeared from the radar about 10 miles south of Bakersfield, according to the Sheriff’s office. The Sheriff’s Office was notified of the incident at 4:26 p.m. The sheriff’s office along with other agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, responded to the distress signals and carried out a ground search.
The debris from the plane crash was finally located by the search crews after three hours of search, as per a news release. The debris-field of the crash was nearly a quarter-mile in length and it was found in an almond orchard at the southwest of the intersection of South Allen and Panama lanes in detached Kern County.
As Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration told, the private plane disappeared from close to Bakersfield at around 4 p.m. on Saturday. According to a statement from the FAA, the plane was travelling from San Jose, California to Henderson Executive Airport, outside Las Vegas in Clark Country, Nevada.
After arriving at the scene of the plane crash on Sunday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have begun their investigation into the cause of the crash, according to CNN. If precedence of similar cases is to be taken into account, it will take agencies months and if not longer to identify the possible causes for the plane crash.
[Image via Wikipedia]