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3 Dead in Plane Crashed in Sewage Pond

December 20, 2006

GILROY, Calif. (AP) _ Three bodies were found Tuesday in the wreckage of a small plane that crashed into a sewage pond at a wastewater treatment plant.

The twin-engine plane went down near Gilroy on Monday after taking off from an airport in San Jose, about 30 miles away, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. The wreckage was found submerged in about 20 feet of raw sewage.

Plant workers pumped out the pool and planned to sterilize it before investigators entered to recover the bodies.

The plane belonged to a flight school in San Jose. Flight students Yoshiyuki Kato and Yasushi Miyata and their instructor, Shoki Haraguchi, died in the crash, according to Vicki Gonzales, office manager of the Nice Air flight school, which trains many international students.

Air traffic controllers received no distress call before the crash, Gregor said. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.