COLUMBIA (AP) — It will be next week before the four people killed when a small plane crashed and burned in Northern California are identified, authorities said Thursday.
The genders of the victims are not known, and dental records will be used for identification, they said.
Sgt. Andrea Benson, a spokeswoman for the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department, said the Cessna 310 crashed Wednesday afternoon as it tried to land on the Columbia Airport runway but veered left.
The aircraft was coming from the north, but neither police nor the National Transportation Safety Board knew from where. There’s no air traffic control at the airport.
The plane was fully engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived. Firefighters working a blaze nearby reached the crash site quickly.
The Union Democrat reports that Benedict Stuth, a manager with the Tuolumne County Airports, said the plane bounced a few times and came down belly up just east of the airfield. Authorities said the plane appeared to have navigated a significant length of the 4,700-foot long runway. Chris Miller, a flight instructor with Springfield Flying Services in Columbia, told the Union Democrat that the twin-engine Cessna was built in 1959.
Representatives from both the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating Thursday.