Eight people are feared dead after two planes collided over a popular mountain lake in Idaho.
Emergency services were alerted to reports of a plane crash at Coeur d’Alene Lake at about 2:20pm on Sunday afternoon.
Witnesses, many of whom were boating on the picturesque lake for Independence Day weekend, saw two aircraft smash into each other in the air above the body of water.
One man looked up from his boat to see what looked like an “engine explosion” on a seaplane some 200 feet up, before the plane’s wings separated and the aircraft fell into the water.
Another said one plane’s wing seemed to clip the other’s cabin, causing a “metallic, cracking sound” before they both plummeted into the lake, the Spokesman-Review reports.
Eight people, including children, are believed to have been aboard the two aircraft.
Two bodies were pulled from the planes before they sank but the remaining six people are still unaccounted for, but presumed dead.
A woman told local news that she was on the lake at the time of the disaster.
“Two of the guys in our boat jumped out and held the bodies from floating away,” she said.
One aircraft was a Cessna 206, but investigators don’t yet know the make and model of the other aircraft involved.
A sonar team has located both planes in the 127 feet of water, but they will not be recovered until Monday or Tuesday.
The local sheriff’s office reportedly doesn’t have have the equipment needed to reach the wreckage and will probably have to hire a commercial diving group for the recovery process.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the collision.
They have not yet determined the cause of the deadly crash.
Coeur d’Alene Lake is the second largest lake in northern Idaho at 26 miles long. It is surrounded by mountains, campgrounds and beaches, making it a very popular holiday destination.