UPDATE: One rescued, three still missing

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UPDATE: One rescued, three still missing
Kirby Hodge is said to be among the missing. (Photo courtesy: The Anguillian Newspaper)
Kirby Hodge is said to be among the missing. (Photo courtesy: The Anguillian Newspaper)

One week after a small plane crash in Antigua killed three people, the Caribbean is now being notified of a similar incident, this time in the US Virgin Islands.

Reports are that a small plane delivering newspapers went down about eight miles or 13 kilometers south of the airport in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands early Saturday morning, the Associated Press (AP) is reporting.

The AP is reporting that at three people are missing and one was rescued.

Quoting interim executive director for the island’s Port Authority, David Mapp, the AP reported that the plane had been delivering newspapers to the island of St. Croix and was returning to St. Thomas.

Mapp said the plane had picked up a couple of passengers before it returned to St. Thomas, and that rescue crews are still trying to recover more bodies.

Meanwhile, St. Martin News Network (SMN) has identified one of the missing persons as Anguillian pilot, Kirby Hodge.

SMN is reporting that Hodge’s relatives are upset with the conflicting information they are being fed regarding the survival and search and rescue mission.

SMN stated: “Saturday evening relatives of Captain Hodge and other Anguillians were rejoicing when they were told that all six persons on board the aircraft were found alive. Hours later their joy turned into sadness when they learnt that the search and rescue mission was called off due to the inclement weather conditions and that only one female passenger that was on board flight 5553Y–AZTEX that left St. Croix en route to St. Thomas early Saturday morning crashed was rescued.”

This news comes one week after a Fly Montserrat aircraft crashed shortly after take-off at the VC Bird International Airport in Antigua, killing three people on board, including a Jamaican teacher who resided in Montserrat, the pilot, and a Guyanese woman. The plane was on its way to Montserrat but went down seconds after take-off.

Only one person survived the incident.

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