Anchorage, Alaska (AP) - Officials of a medical flight company that owns a missing air ambulance in Alaska said Thursday they are resigned to accept that aircraft debris found at the search site came from the plane.
The Coast Guard stressed Thursday it has not been able to confirm that the aircraft wing part found Wednesday and other debris found in the area is from the twin-engine King Air 200 plane that disappeared with three people on board. The twin-engine plane took off from Anchorage Tuesday and was expected to land in the tiny community of Kake to pick up a patient but never arrived.
The debris was found about 22 miles (35 kilometers) west of Kake near the last known position of the plane.
Searchers were focusing on the area where the wing part was found in water near Admiralty Island in southeastern Alaska. Additional aircraft debris was found later in the same area, according to the Coast Guard.
A Guardian Flight official said the discovery is a strong indication the debris came from the missing plane.
"While search and rescue efforts are continuing in an attempt to find survivors, we are resigned to accept that the aircraft was ours," Randy Lyman, a company vice president, said in a statement.
Guardian Flight said those on board the missing plane are the pilot, 63-year-old Patrick Coyle, the flight nurse, 30-year-old Stacie Rae Morse, and the flight paramedic, 43-year-old Margaret Langston. The company earlier said Langston's last name was Allen, but Lyman said Thursday she was recently married and her last name is now Langston.
The company said all are based in Juneau.
"We continue to ask for everyone's prayers and support as we focus on families, crew members and the entire Guardian Flight team and extended family of all those involved," Lyman wrote in the statement.