Cyprus: crews locate small plane wreckage, bodies

AP News
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Posted: Oct 23, 2014 10:34 AM

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The bodies of two people have been found near wreckage belonging to a small aircraft that vanished over the Mediterranean Sea while en route to Beirut from Cyprus, the defense minister said Thursday.

Christoforos Fokaides expressed condolences to the families of the "two members of the crew." He said the bodies will be taken to the island nation for positive identification. Family members of both victims have been notified, according to a Defense Ministry statement.

Cypriot authorities said the twin-engine Diamond DA42 plane with one Cypriot and one Lebanese national onboard disappeared Wednesday evening around 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of the coastal town of Larnaca.

The plane had taken off from an airport near the town of Paphos, on Cyprus' western coast.

The Defense Ministry said that two warships attached to a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon have brought wreckage to Cyprus for investigators to begin their probe.

Israeli helicopters had also assisted Cypriot aircraft and boats in the search effort.