Sydney, December 31 (IANS): All six occupants on board a tourist seaplane were killed on Sunday after it crashed into a bay north of Sydney in southeastern Australia.
Authorities said they had recovered three bodies from the plane, a DHC-2 Beaver owned by the Sydney Seaplanes Pty Ltd, believed to be submerged in the sea, the Australian Aviation Safety Network said, citing the country’s national transport safety investigator, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Efe news agency reported.
“A float-equipped de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver impacted the water off Cottage Point, Jerusalem Bay, Australia and reportedly sank rapidly according to the ATSB,” the ASN said in a statement. “The aircraft carried one pilot and five passengers on a return flight to Rose Bay, Sydney Harbour,” the statement added.
According to media reports, the occupants included four British nationals, although authorities were yet to identify them.
Superintendent Michael Gorman said divers were working to try to recover the other three bodies and the seaplane, while the cause of the accident, that took place near Cowan city, was not known.
Sydney Seaplanes owned planes are hired by the tourists to fly over emblematic monuments such as the Opera House and the creeks in the north of the city.
Famous visitors to use the service include Pippa Middleton, younger sister of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband James Matthews.
The service has been active for the past 80 years.