BILLINGS, Mont. (UPI) — Authorities in Montana said they have recovered four bodies from the wreckage of a Cessna plane that crashed over the weekend.
The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement it was notified of an overdue aircraft in the Billings area Saturday evening, prompting a search that continued throughout the night for the small passenger plane.
A radar track located the plane’s last known location as near Dunn Mountain, north of Billings, and Yellowstone Country Sheriff Mike Linder was flown out to the site Sunday, discovering the doomed aircraft and the four bodies near the bottom of the mountain’s west-facing slope.
“They landed and were able to determine there were no survivors,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement.
A preliminary inspection of the crash site was conducted, discovering evidence the plane had likely clipped a guy wire of a radio tower on the top of the mountain before plummeting to the ground, it said.
Authorities said the bodies have since been transported to the state morgue in Billings where autopsies will be conducted Monday to identify the victims.
The Federal Aviation Administration stated the estimated time of the crash was 6 p.m. Saturday with the initial alert notice of the missing aircraft being broadcast at 3:10 a.m. the next day.
The National Transportation Safety Bureau said it is investigating the crash. The Yellowstone Country Sheriff’s announced that it will be accompanying Federal investigators to the crash site Monday.
Reporting by Darryl Coote
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