Six of the 10 victims of the Whidbey Island floatplane crash have been recovered and five have been identified, Island County Emergency Management said Friday afternoon.
Deputy director Eric Brooks confirmed that four additional victims had been identified along with 29-year-old Gabby Hanna, whose body was found shortly after the Labor Day weekend crash in Mutiny Bay. Officials are analyzing the sixth to identify the victim.
Brooks didn’t name the identified victims and said the county coroner would meet with victims’ families.
About 80% of the plane, including the engine, has been recovered and pulled to the surface using remotely operated vessels, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said Thursday. Crews began recovery efforts Tuesday, using a Navy barge anchored in place near the crash site off the shore of Freeland on Whidbey Island.
ROVs are plunging more than 150 feet below the surface to retrieve wreckage of the de Havilland DHC-3 Otter, which was bound from Friday Harbor to Renton on Sept. 4 before plummeting into the water.
Meanwhile, officials are investigating whether human remains that washed ashore at Dungeness Spit nearly two weeks after the plane crash are the seventh victim.
Officials have examined fingerprints of a torso found by beachgoers, according to Clallam County Deputy Coroner Nathan Millett.
While officials have fingerprints from both the human remains and the identity of a tentative victim, the Washington State Patrol, the agency examining both sets of fingerprints, has not yet made a formal determination, Millett said.
Fingerprints were obtained from an intact hand and another set of fingerprints from the Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
The autopsy was delayed because the human remains had to be transferred out of Clallam County to a forensic pathologist in Thurston County, Millett said.