Tags: medical | jet | crash | dead | missing | plunges | ocean

Medical Jet Crash: 2 Dead, 2 Missing in Plunge Into Ocean Off Florida

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 11:42 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Two people are dead and two are still missing after a medical flight crashed and plunged into the ocean off the coast of Florida Tuesday night.

The Cozumel, Mexico-bound Learjet 35, which was carrying two doctors and two crewmembers, took off from Fort Lauderdale around 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, but went down in the Atlantic about two miles from the airport shortly after, U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Gabe Somma told NBC News.

It's not clear yet what caused the plane to crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. The pilot was reportedly able to make a mayday call to air traffic control before the medical flight crashed, and said there had been engine failure.

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Rescue crews recovered the bodies of one man and one woman following the crash and continue to sift through a 20-square-mile-wide field of debris for the other two passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Coast Guard would not confirm the identities of the victims, but Reuters cited Mexico's Communications and Transport Ministry and reported that the pilots were Jose Galvan de la O. and Josue Buendia and the two passengers were Fernando Senties and Mariana Gonzalez.

"We still have a very active search and rescue case going on this morning off the coast of Fort Lauderdale," Somma told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning. "We continue at this hour to be fully engaged in a search and rescue effort."

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