Dec 20, 2006

Plane Wreckage Found in Sewage Treatment Tank

A wastewater tank near Gilroy, Calif., had crews working to pump thousands of gallons of raw sewage from a wastwater tank after wreckage from a plane was found near the site.

A Beehcraft Twin BE-95 Travel Air was discovered completely submerged. reported that the plane most likely came from a San Jose flight school and had a teacher and two students on board, all Japanese nationals.

The plane failed to arrive back at the Reid-Hillview airport in San Jose, Calif., and FAA spokesman Ian Gregor reported that personal items were recovered from the tank, including a logbook and a Japanese passport.

Workers from the South County Regional Wastewater Authority treatment plant had removed less than half of the tank’s capacity by the morning after the accident. The workers will need to drain the tank completely and then have it decontaminated before it is safe for investigators to reach the wreckage and victims inside.