Hope of survivors fade in light aircraft crash

February 9, 2011 12:00 am

, JOHANNESBURG, Feb 9 – Rescue workers in South Africa said Wednesday they had found wreckage believed to be that of a light aircraft that went missing with nine people aboard.

The plane, thought to be a single-engine Pilatus PC-12, lost radar contact around 7:00 pm Tuesday (1700 GMT) while flying near Plettenberg Bay on South Africa\’s southeastern coast, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

A rescue crew found a 5.8-mile (9.3-kilometre) field of floating debris off the coast Wednesday morning, leaving little hope of survivors, NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon told AFP.

"The chance of finding survivors appears to be fading," he said.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the plane was believed to be a corporate aircraft belonging to South African home fixtures retail company Italtile.

CAA spokeswoman Phindiwe Gwebu said a team has been sent to the site to investigate the cause of the crash.


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