A Virginia plane crash has killed four people from Florida in a remote swamp. Authorities are using a bulldozer to try to retrieve the bodies.
“The site is in an extremely remote section of the swamp,” Corinne N. Geller from the Virginia State Police said in a statement. “None of the four people on board the twin-prop Cessna 340, to include the pilot, survived the crash.”
The wreckage of the small plane was located in the Great Dismal Swamp by a private group of citizens conducting surveillance on Friday.
Air traffic controllers lost contact while the Cessna was flying over the swamp on Thursday afternoon.
The passengers in the Virginia plane crash were identified as pilot Theodore Bradshaw, 61, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who had over 30 years experience, his wife Mary Anne Bradshaw, 48; Charles Rodd, 64; and Diane Rodd, 58.
Lt. Curtis Hardison of the Virginia State Police Chesapeake Division said in a statement:
We want to express our sincere appreciation to Hampton Roads Helicopters for their critical assistance with this search mission. They not only supplied us with the necessary aerial support we needed to expedite this search operation, but provided two hours of flight time free of charge. Their generosity also helped bring closure to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic crash.
Police say the flight was scheduled to arrive at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport in Chesapeake, Virginia, around noon after leaving the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport at 7:45 am.
An investigation to determine the cause of the crash is underway and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been notified, according to Virginia state police.
“Today, crews spent the day clearing a path through the Great Dismal Swamp to the crash site of the plane,” Geller told NBC News via an email. “Due to the condition of the wreckage, crews will attempt to remove the remains of the pilot and his three passengers tomorrow, along with the plane.”
On Saturday evening, all four victims of the Virginia plane crash remained trapped inside the wreckage as crews worked to try and retrieve the bodies.