DOT officials: 4 killed in private plane crash near Hood Canal

Plane wreckage seen from Air 4 near Dabob Bay after victims' bodies have been removed. (Photo: KOMO News)

QUILCENE, Wash. - Crews have found the bodies of four people at the scene of a plane crash near the northern Hood Canal area of Dabob Bay, state Department of Transportation officials said Friday.

The plane wreckage was spotted Friday morning in a heavily wooded ravine where crews had been searching for a missing private plane that disappeared Thursday evening.

"Four occupants have been located in the wreckage but there were no survivors," state DOT spokesperson Barbara LaBoe said in a prepared statement.

She said the names of the victims will not be released until they have been positively identified and their families have been notified.

Cmdr. Tom Peterson, DOT's on-scene commander, declined to identify the victims but did say the plane's owner was not aboard.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said it was alerted at 7 p.m. Thursday by the Navy, which reported that a plane may have gone down on Coyle Peninsula. The Navy saw a plane at 1,200 feet having difficulty in weather conditions. Deputies searched Thursday night but couldn't find any wreckage.

As of midmorning Friday, search crews were still working through the scattered wreckage to recover the victims.

The plane, a single-engine Cessna, left Seattleā€™s Boeing Field headed for Port Angeles just after 6 p.m. Thursday and lost contact with air traffic control about 6:44 p.m. near the Dabob Bay area, east of Quilcene, LaBoe said. Emergency locator signals were used to define the search area.

Investigators have not yet announced a cause for the crash, but archived weather radar images show an intense squall was in the area at about the time the plane disappeared.

Joining in the search were Jefferson County Search & Rescue, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the state DOT, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Navy, Washington Emergency Management Division, Quilcene Fire District 2 and Port Ludlow Fire District 3.

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