Five bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of a private plane that crashed near Bakersfield Saturday afternoon after taking off from a small airport in San Jose, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
A single-engine Piper PA32 that took off from the Reid-Hillview Airport disappeared from radar near Bakersfield around 4 p.m. Saturday, according to Ian Gregor from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office was notified at 4:26 p.m., and roughly three hours later search crews found a debris-field roughly a quarter-mile in length in an almond orchard southwest of the intersection of Panama and South Allen lanes, just outside of Bakersfield in unincorporated Kern County, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Mark King.
Five victims were located during a search of the area and recovered by the coroner’s office, King said. Efforts are underway to identify the victims and notify their next of kin.
Personnel from the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are at the crash site and the incident remains under investigation, according to Gregor.