BASSE TERRE, Guadeloupe, CMC – A 16-year-old French national is among four persons still missing as the search continues in waters of Dominica for a single engine aircraft that crashed into the sea on leaving the Douglas Charles Airport, north east of Dominica, on Sunday night.
While rescue teams have been able to recover some wreckage from the plane, none of the bodies have been found and the rescue will continue on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Guadeloupe prefecture said the 16-year-old is the son of a 55 year-old couple, who were also on the ill-fated flight. The other person’s age has been given as 40 years. Their names were not released.
“The search conditions are made difficult with strong winds and rough seas causing poor visibility due to frequent squalls,” said the Guadeloupe prefecture.
On Monday, local fishermen, who are assisting in the rescue operations, showed reporters the landing gear of the Piper F-OGKO aircraft that was carrying the four unidentified people, including the two pilots, when it plunged into the sea at around 6.43 pm (local time) on Sunday evening.
Earlier, the chief executive officer of the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority (DASPA), Benoit Bardouille, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, said a bag and a passport had been found and that the rescue teams had intensified their search in the waters in Marigot.
“Four souls are on that aircraft. What we are doing earnestly is to try to see how we can find the aircraft and the four souls that were on board. We are hopeful that’s of something …since the aircraft may not have gone too far away from the airport.”
Earlier reports had indicated that the plane had crashed on its approach to the airport, but Bardouille told listeners the French-registered small Piper aircraft “was given clearance to take off from Douglas Charles Airport destined to Raizet Airport in Guadeloupe”.
Bardouille said that the ECCAA and the French authorities are going to conduct investigations into the crash and urged persons to stop spreading false information on the matter.