Watch CBS News

Pilots, Passengers On Jet Which Crashed Off Ft. Lauderdale Identified

DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – A massive search continues for two people who are still missing after a Learjet crashed into the ocean off Ft. Lauderdale Tuesday evening.

The flight took off from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport just before 8 p.m. Within minutes, the pilot radioed the tower and said he had an engine failure and planned to return to the airport. He never made it.

The Federal Aviation Administration said jet went down three miles off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale with four people onboard.

The Coast Guard and Ft. Lauderdale police immediately began a search. They were able to recover the bodies of two people who had been onboard the plane.

The jet was carrying two pilots, a doctor and a nurse who were returning to Cozumel, Mexico, after dropping off a patient in Fort Lauderdale, said airport spokesman Greg Meyer.

The Mexican government identifies the pilots José Hiram Galván de la O and Josué Buendía Moreno. An internet search shows Moreno is from Hidalgo, Mexico and holds pilot licenses to fly single and multi-engine aircraft.

Mexican authorities identified the doctor as Fernando Senties Nieto and the nurse as Mariana González Isunza, both from Cozumel.

According to Dr. Senties' Twitter account, his final tweet posted Monday, mentioned having to be at the airport by 4PM. Friends posted condolences on his Facebook page.

The plane's last registered owner is listed as AirEvac International. It's unclear if the pilots were employed by AirEvac International.

The Coast Guard said several agencies are searching the debris field which is drifting to the north. For safety reasons, they're asking boaters to stay away from the area.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.