CO authorities: 5 bodies located amid plane wreckage - WNEM TV 5

CO authorities: 5 bodies located amid plane wreckage

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Clockwise from top left: Katrina Barksdale, her sons Kobe and Xander, Seth McDuffie, and pilot Jimmy Hill. Source: Family photos Clockwise from top left: Katrina Barksdale, her sons Kobe and Xander, Seth McDuffie, and pilot Jimmy Hill. Source: Family photos
Search crews found part of a missing Gadsden plane in a Colorado reservoir on Sunday. Search crews found part of a missing Gadsden plane in a Colorado reservoir on Sunday.
OURAY COUNTY, COLORADO (WBRC) -

Colorado authorities say that five bodies have been located amid the wreckage of a plane crash.

It is believed, but not officially confirmed, that the five victims are all from the Gadsden area. 

The following people are believed to have been on the flight: the pilot, Jimmy Hill, and passengers Katrina Barksdale, her two young boys Kobe and Xander, and their cousin Seth McDuffie. Jimmy Hill and Katrina Barksdale were described as friends.

They were headed to Colorado for spring break when the plane crashed south of the Montrose Regional Airport in Colorado.

Ouray County, Colo. authorities held a press conference Monday afternoon to update the public on the recovery.

Investigators says between eight and 10 people witnessed the plane crash Saturday. It happened at around 1:50 p.m. local time. Authorties say the weather conditions were windy and a rain/snow mix was falling at the time of the crash.

According to Dominick Mattivi with the Ouray County Sherriff's Office, deputies have interviewed several witnesses who say they saw the plane as it crashed into the reservoir.

"They said the engine was cutting in and out and then it kind of went dead. And then they could see it spiraling out of the clouds and landing in the reservoir," Mattivi said.

At this time, a special dive team has been called in to assist in the recovery of the plane. The altitude of the reservoir is 6,800 feet above sea level. This height, combined with the cold water and depth of the wreckage, will make recovery more challenging.

"Due to the orientation of the damage, and the orientation of the wreckage, divers cannot safely recover any of the victims or the remainder of the wreckage, until we can bring the wreckage to shore," Ouray County Public Information Officer Marti Whitmore explained in the press conference.

As of 5 p.m. CST Monday, recovery operations had been suspended for the day. Officers are still at the reservoir to protect the site.

Ouray County authorities say the salvage team will arrive Wednesday and review the sonar data before determining a recovery timeline.

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