Latvia: Plane crash in the Baltic Sea: No hope for survivors

In the mysterious plane crash in the Baltic Sea, according to the Latvian authorities, all occupants of the crashed plane died.

Latvia: Plane crash in the Baltic Sea: No hope for survivors

In the mysterious plane crash in the Baltic Sea, according to the Latvian authorities, all occupants of the crashed plane died. "It is now clear that there is no hope of finding survivors," said the head of the Latvian Sea Rescue Coordination Center, Peteris Subbota, on Latvian television on Tuesday evening.

According to the finds so far during the search operation in the sea, this is the first conclusion to be drawn about the moment of impact. "The speed at the time of impact was very high and the plane broke into many small pieces."

Rescuers find human body parts

After several pieces of wreckage and debris from the crashed machine had already been recovered from the sea, the rescuers now also found human body parts near the crash site. The remains were handed over to the criminal police for further investigation. They were discovered on Monday evening in the Baltic Sea before nightfall. However, many questions about the accident and its cause remained unanswered.

The private plane flew over the Baltic Sea on Sunday on its way from Spain to Cologne. There it fell into the sea in the evening off the coast west of the Latvian port city of Ventspils. Communication with the Cessna 551 with four people on board had been interrupted for a long time before the accident. The identity of the passengers has not yet been officially confirmed. The systems engineering company Griesemann from Wesseling near Cologne had announced that the four missing persons were the company founder Peter Griesemann as well as two family members and one other person.

Autonomous robot in action

Ships of the Latvian Navy and the Border Guard are used for search at sea. With the help of special equipment, the search continued under water on Tuesday. It used "an autonomous robot that scans the seabed along a pre-programmed route. And when it returns to the ship, the information is analyzed," Subbota said. The goal is to get as many clues as possible.

It is unclear how often the robot has to dive into the Baltic Sea, which is about 60 meters deep at this point. Work is set to continue in the coming days, Subbota said. According to him, the aircraft, which was registered to an aviation company belonging to the Griesemann family, may not have a black box. This could make it more difficult to determine the cause of the crash, which has not yet been clarified. The crash site is about 35 kilometers off the Latvian coast in neutral waters.

Griesemann is a Rhenish medium-sized company which, according to its own information, has more than 1600 employees in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands and is active in lightning protection, among other things. The current company boss is the son of the founder, who retired in 2015. The news of the possible death of Griesemann, who was also active as a carnivalist, triggered sadness and horror in Cologne. Mayor Henriette Reker expressed her dismay at the "tragic accident" in a message to the family.

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