Bahamas police find 9th victim from plane crash

AP News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2010 10:59 AM
Bahamas police find 9th victim from plane crash

Officials have found the body of a ninth victim from the crash of what may have been an illegal charter flight to a cultural festival in the Bahamas, and they say a 10th passenger may missing as well.

The twin-engine Cessna 402 carrying a pilot and at least eight passengers crashed into Lake Killarney near the international airport in the capital, Nassau, after one of its engines caught fire on Tuesday, authorities have said.

The body recovered Friday was likely that of a 23-year-old sound engineer, according to Assistant Police Commissioner Glenn Miller, and police are searching for a 10th person whose Jamaican passport was discovered at the crash site.

Pilot Nelson Hanna, owner of the plane, did not report he was carrying any passengers, making it hard to determine how many people died, Miller said Friday.

Hanna's company, Acklins Blue, advertised itself as a charter company on its website, but it was not certified as a commercial charter operator and may have violated passenger safety regulations, said Flight Standards Inspectorate manager Hubert Adderley. He said an investigation will focus on whether the plane was overloaded and whether any criminal activity took place.

The Cessna 402 can carry a pilot and up to nine passengers.

The victims included five other sound technicians, their employer and a Royal Bahamas Defense Force officer.

Hanna died in the crash and his company's website was taken down this week. A cached version listed no contact numbers, but said Hanna had started the charter company in 1994 and later branched off into real estate and production of purified water.