At least two bodies have been recovered after an airplane that embarked on a 15-minute flight crashed on Wednesday in the Bahamas.
A total of six Bahamians are feared dead. Delvin Major, chief investigator at Bahama's Air Accident Investigation Department, said a six-seater Piper Aztec left the Nassau International Airport at about 8 a.m.
By 11 a.m., the agency received reports the aircraft disappeared from radar screens earlier in the day and that limited efforts to find the craft proved fruitless. Search and rescue efforts by the AAID began immediately, Major said.
The U.S. Coast Guard joined the search for the aircraft by sending a helicopter in response to a request for assistance by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force.
Two bodies were recovered and debris was located. Officials plan to return to the area where the plane was found early Thursday. Severe weather has hindered the search for the aircraft, San Andros police said. The plane carried one pilot and five passengers.
Royal Bahamas Police Force spokesperson Shanta Knowles said the aircraft left the airport – formally called the Lynden Pindling International Airport – in the North Andros district and headed to North Providence, which is about a 15-minute flight.
Carlton Bowleg Jr., a minister of parliament representing the North Andros and Berry Islands districts, previously told The Tribune Limited that the passengers are feared dead.