Plane crash: Searchers find one passenger at hut

26 August 2007, 7:45pm

Searchers have found one person alive from the missing light airplane reported overdue in Mount Cook late this afternoon and are en route to the wreckage site to find the second person.

The man was discovered by helicopter crew at a hut in Folk Stream between Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki about an hour ago.Searchers say the man walked about 5km from the crash site in steep terrain to try and raise the alarm. He is receiving medical assistance and is reported to be in a stable condition.  It is not yet known whether the survivor is the pilot or passenger.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand Mission Controller Keith Allen said the Westpac Rescue helicopter from Christchurch, which is fitted with night vision equipment, has been deployed to the wreckage area with medics on board. The wreckage is believed to be in steep terrain.

Mr Allen said searchers are hopeful the second person was alive, but nothing can be confirmed at this stage.  

The aircraft was reported overdue at 4pm today. It was flying from Christchurch to Mount Cook.  The aircraft’s emergency beacon was also activated.

One helicopter and a fixed wing plane have been searching the area with other aircraft on standby.

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