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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 15, 2012 at 5:51 AM

UPDATE: 3 dead in plane crash near Mount Si at North Bend

 

At a staging area near the Little Si hiking trail head, search and rescue workers prepare to head toward the scene of a small plane crash earlier today near North Bend. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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NORTH BEND – Three people have been confirmed killed after a small airplane crashed near North Bend this morning.

King County sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West said that the bodies of two males and a female were found in the wreckage of a Cessna 172. Rescuers said one of the men appeared to be older, the other two victims appeared to be in their 30s, according to Times news partner KING-TV.

West says the single-engine plane crashed before 2 a.m. on the Little Si section of Mount Si. West said that neighbors heard a “sputter, pop and an explosion.” Two deputies in the area heard the explosion as well and started looking for where it came from, West said.

“I heard it crash into a sheer cliff, and indeed that’s what’s up there,” North Bend resident Terry Jensen tells KING. “It’s a tragedy.”

West said that rescue crews were able to track the plane through an emergency beacon. Deputies are focused this morning on recovering the three bodies, West said.

The identities of the three crash victims and their flight route have not been released by authorities.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board will handle the bulk of the investigation, West said.

Preliminary information indicated the plane was not in contact with air traffic control, said FAA spokesman Mike Fergus.

Allen Kenitzer, anorther FAA spokesman, said that he expects to release updated information later today.

Mount Si is a 4,200-foot peak, popular with climbers and hikers, about 30 miles east of Seattle.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: crash, King County Sheriff's Office, light plane

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