Third body may be in submerged wreckage, Sheriff says

EPHRATAH – Authorities have found the bodies of the pilot and one passenger of a twin-engine plane that crashed in the hamlet of Rockwood on Friday evening, and they continue to search for the body of the second passenger.

Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey said today the fuselage of the plane, which includes the cockpit and passenger compartment, has been found at the bottom of a 30-foot deep reservoir in Ephratah owned by Canadian renewable energy company Brookfield Power, which operates a dam near the crash site.

Lorey said a New York State Police dive team searched the area around the wreckage of the plane but didn’t find a third body. He said the dive team has not yet been able to search the interior of the wreck because it has been deemed too dangerous. The dive team was attempting to stabilize and raise the structure using inflatable airbags this evening.

“When we get it to the surface, we will have to search the fuselage completely to see if there is anything in there. We have no idea where the third body is; the debris field is as far as a five miles around the crash,” Lorey said. “We won’t release anybody’s name until we recover the third body.”

The airplane was part of Angel Flight Northeast, a division of the Angel Flight not-for-profit flying organization that provides air transportation and volunteer pilots for people with serious medical needs.

Lorey confirmed Saturday that the two passengers of the plane were a married couple from Utica and the pilot was from somewhere in Connecticut. He said one of the Utica residents had been receiving medical treatment near Bedford, Mass., where the plane took off, and the flight was scheduled to land in Rome, New York.

Editor’s note: This story is developing and will be updated in Sunday’s morning’s edition.