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Small aircraft crashes in the sea off NW Crete. Two Dead

A small aircraft crashed in the sea area of Maleme on north-western Crete on Thursday evening. Two people, the pilot and one passenger,are missing. Big Search And Rescue operation underway.

The twin-engine aircraft belonging to the Chania Aeroclub crashed in the late afternoon, less than one nautical mile from the shore.

The lights in the dark sea show the SAR operation area via local

It is still unknown how the plane ended up in the sea.

According to local media, the aircraft with two onboard, had taken off from the area of Kopaida, north of Attica. and was bound for the airport in Maleme, which is used by such small aircraft.

“But because it was dark, the pilot made a turn over Kolymbari with the intention of approaching the runway from the sea side, but suddenly the aircraft  signal was lost,” the website noted.

Mayor of Platanias, Yiannis Malandrakis, told media that the aircraft crashed at a distance of about half a nautical mile from the coast of Maleme.

A SAR operation was launched with participation of the Coast Guard vessels and lifeguards from Chania, a Navy helicopter as wells as private vessels that were engaged for this purpose.

The aircraft from the Attica Aeroclub was to participate in an air show of the Chania Aeroclub, STAR TV reported.

Around 8 o’ clock in the evening, rescuers located the helicopter. Both the pilot and the passenger, both men, were found dead.

The recovered bodies have been taken to the morgue in Chania, an autopsy will determine the exact causes of their death.

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