Possible debris from missing plane found along Lake Erie - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Possible debris from missing plane found along Lake Erie

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By: ALEX JOHNSON 

(NBC) — More than 120 pieces of possible debris from a small plane that vanished last week after taking off for Ohio State University has been found washing ashore on Lake Erie near the airport where it took off, authorities said Monday.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the Cessna Citation 525 shortly after it took off from Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland on Thursday night. Six people, three of them children, were aboard, returning to Columbus after having attended a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game.

The unified command coordinating search operations by the Coast Guard and local fire and police crews first said Sunday night that it had received multiple reports of debris washing ashore east of the airport. None of the reported has been verified as having come from the Cessna, it said.

Cleveland police, who are leading the investigation, said they're investigating the contents of a bag that was recovered separately Sunday near Shoreby Club Harbor in Bratenahl.

Superior Beverage Group, an Ohio beverage company, identified those on as its president and chief executive, John T. Fleming; his wife, Sue; their sons Jack and Andrew; and two close friends.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft was kept in a hangar at Ohio State University. The passengers had no affiliation with the school, the Coast Guard said.

The search was declared a recovery effort, not a rescue, on Saturday. The search was suspended for the night and will resume Monday morning, authorities said.

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