Two bodies have been pulled from Coeur d'Alene Lake, and officials believe six people remain unaccounted for

By Rachel DeSantis
July 06, 2020 12:13 PM

At least eight people are believed to have died after two planes collided and fell into a lake in Idaho on Sunday.

Witnesses told the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office that two planes crashed into each other above Coeur d’Alene Lake near Powderhorn Bay around 2:20 p.m., the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Multiple units and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene, though the sheriff’s office’s sonar team eventually located both planes at about 127 feet.

Two victims' bodies were recovered from the water, and there remain at least six people unaccounted for, including children, CNN reported.

“Initial reports are, there were a total of eight passengers and crew on the two planes, but that is still being verified,” the sheriff’s office said. “At this time it is believed there are no survivors.”

One of the aircraft involved was a Cessna 206, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told PEOPLE. Gregor said both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

The NTSB said that the other plane was a de Havilland DHC-2.

Witness Grant Marchant told CBS affiliate KREM that he heard a loud “cracking” noise just before he saw one of the planes fall from the sky.

Another witness told the outlet she saw a “big eruption of flames,” as well as debris and a loud noise.

“It was pretty terrifying,” she said. “We were all standing at the beach watching it and [were] completely shocked at what we saw.”

John Cowles was at the lake with his family when the crash occurred, and he told The Spokesman-Review that he saw an apparent “engine explosion,” and that one of the plane’s wings separated before it fell into the water.

The sheriff’s office said that because of the nature of the accident, the victims' identities remain unknown.