HELSINKI—Human remains and debris were found in the Baltic Sea during a search operation off the coast of Latvia after a private jet crashed in mysterious circumstances, likely killing all four people on board.
Lt. Lieutenant Peters Sabbota, head of the Marine Search and Rescue Coordination Center for the Latvian Armed Forces, told the Associated Press that “human remains believed to be related to the crash” were found on Tuesday by a Latvian Coast Guard vessel and an underwater robot. He said he was found during a search by the
Air traffic controllers lost contact with a Cessna Citation 551 jet carrying four people shortly after taking off from the Spanish city of Jerez on Sunday. An aircraft en route to Cologne, Germany, had previously reported problems with cabin pressurization.
Several European nations scrambled their fighter jets as the plane crossed the continent but could not see or contact anyone in the cockpit, German media reported, according to tabloid Bild. to call the aircraft “ghost planes”.
The Cessna disappeared from radar while flying off course over the Baltic Sea and then crashed in Latvian waters about 37 kilometers (23 miles) northwest of the port city of Ventspils.
An underwater search has yet to pinpoint the location of the crashed plane, but Subbota said the waters at the site were only up to 60 meters (197 feet) deep, allowing access to the ocean floor, so the chances of finding it should be pretty high. .
Cologne-based daily newspapers Express and Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger reported that the Cessna was carrying a prominent local businessman, an avid amateur pilot.
According to media reports, the Austrian-registered aircraft was built in 1979 and lacked a so-called black box to help determine the cause of the crash.