Icelandic Coast Guard Rescue Teams Find 4 Bodies After Plane Crash

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Army explosive ordnance disposal technicians load onto an Icelandic AS332 Super Puma helicopter.
FILE -- U.S. Army explosive ordnance disposal technicians, based in Grafenwoehr, Germany, load onto an Icelandic AS332 Super Puma helicopter Oct. 6, 2011, during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s annual EOD exercise “Northern Challenge” which was hosted by the Icelandic Coast Guard at Naval Station Keflavik, Iceland. (Frank Sanchez/U.S. Army)

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Rescue teams in Iceland located the bodies of all four occupants of a small plane that crashed into a lake while carrying tourists from the United States, the Netherlands and Belgium on a sightseeing trip.

The Cessna 172 was discovered in Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland's second-largest, at around 11 p.m. local time on Friday, the Icelandic Coast Guard said in a statement. The aircraft was found in a portion of the lake about 30 miles east of Reykjavik.

More than 1,000 members of Iceland’s Search and Rescue organization, along with boats, divers and two Icelandic Coast Guard helicopters, had combed the Thingvellir National Park area in harsh winter weather for the plane.

The Cessna 172 plane took off from the domestic airport in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, on Thursday, for a scheduled two-hour sightseeing tour. It last made contact with aviation authorities about an hour later. It did not send a distress signal.

The pilot, Haraldur Diego, 49, was considered one of Iceland’s most prominent aviators and a pioneer of photography tours.

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