The U.S. Coast Guard said one person has died and at least eight others were the subject of a search on waters near Seattle following the crash of a floatplane.
The agency announced just before 6 p.m. that a body believed to be connected to the crash in Mutiny Bay was recovered. “Eight individuals remain unaccounted for,” it said.
A de Havilland DHC-3 Otter floatplane went down off Whidbey Island about 3:10 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.
The agency said initial reports indicate 10 souls were on board, but the Coast Guard’s count was nine people, possibly including a child.
“A surface safety zone has been placed around the scene of the crash,” the Coast Guard said.
The agencies assisting the Coast Guard included the Island County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and South Whidbey Fire/EMS, the federal agency said.
The plane took off from Friday Harbor, Washington, roughly 100 miles north of Seattle, en route to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Coast Guard said.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.
The crash site off Whidbey Island is about 40 miles north of Seattle.
Floatplanes like the de Havilland usually use parallel pontoons for takeoffs and landings using waterways instead of runways. The plane was designed as a short takeoff and landing aircraft, which are favored for locations where runways are comparatively short.