Debris prompt search for Lake Erie plane crash to resume Monday

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[January 02, 2017]    (Reuters) - Search teams looking for a small plane that crashed in Lake Erie with six people aboard are checking reports that debris has washed ashore and will resume their search on Monday, Cleveland city officials said on Sunday.


The Cessna Citation 525 went down on Thursday night shortly after taking off from Burke Lakefront Airport north of downtown Cleveland.

The plane was carrying John Fleming, 46, president and chief executive of Ohio-based liquor distribution company Superior Beverage Group; his wife, Sue; their teenage sons Jack and Andrew; and two friends, company officials have said.

The search for the plane will resume on Monday after darkness forced a halt to the operation late on Sunday, a spokesman for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said in a statement.

Police are following up on multiple reports of debris washing ashore east of the airport, without it being verified as coming from the downed plane, the statement said. Police are also investigating the contents of a bag recovered on Sunday.

The Cessna had been bound for Ohio State University Airport and disappeared after flying about two miles (three km) over the lake, the U.S. Coast Guard has said.

Jackson said on Saturday that those aboard were presumed to have died. Officials have not said what might have caused the plane to go down.

(Writing by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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