DURANGO Several independent sources have confirmed the identities of the four Durango residents killed Saturday in an airplane crash near Silverton.
They were identified as Steve Osborne, Jan Measles, Tyler Black and Gena Rych.
Three of the four worked at Alpine Bank in Durango, according to the bank.
A news release did not identify the three employees, but acquaintances identified them as Measles, Black and Rich.
It is with great sadness that Alpine Bank announces the tragic loss of three cherished members of the Alpine Bank family, the release said. The plane carried three employees of the Durango Alpine Bank and was piloted and owned by the spouse of one of the employees.
The Socota TB-21 was registered to Stephen W. Osborne of Durango, according to a website that links tail numbers with the FAA registry listings. Osborne and Measles are married.
Rescue workers on Sunday recovered two bodies. Autopsies are scheduled for this afternoon.
Two individuals remain missing.
The plane took off about noon from the Animas Air Park in Durango. It crashed about 1 or 1:30 p.m. near Silverton, 50 miles north of Durango. The plane was en route to Aspen, according to authorities.
Silverton residents reported hearing a low-flying plane, and one person heard what sounded like a thump, Bender said.
Certainly it was poor flying conditions at the time, because it was snowing and low clouds, he said.
An emergency beacon activated in the plane, and the wreckage was located about 1½ miles north of Silverton.
The plane crashed on a steep mountainside covered in thick fir trees about 10,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation. The debris field is about a half-mile wide, Bender said.
The crash site is accessible only by snowshoe, he said.
It is unlikely anyone survived the crash, he said.
It would be very difficult for anyone to survive an accident of this nature due to the half-mile-wide debris field, Bender said.
Authorities planned to send a small rescue crew to the debris field today, but they will spend most of the day planning a large-scale rescue operation for Tuesday, Bender said.
The entire company is deeply touched by this event, Alpine Bank wrote in the release. All were highly regarded and will be remembered fondly.