Divers Suspend Hudson Search in Treacherous Waters

By: Victor Epstein and Geoff Mulvihill AP Email
By: Victor Epstein and Geoff Mulvihill AP Email

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) - Treacherous Hudson River waters forced divers to suspend their search Monday for two remaining bodies and the wreckage of a small plane that collided over the weekend with a sightseeing helicopter, killing nine people.

Divers believe they found pieces of the private plane's wreckage but had to pull out because of treacherous conditions, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. They hoped to resume the search later Monday afternoon.

During their brief time just south of where the plane went down, the divers "encountered what they believe were pieces of the plane," Browne said.

Of the six bodies in the helicopter, divers recovered two on Saturday morning and two more that afternoon. Two were trapped in the wreckage and could be extricated only once it was hoisted on a pier in Hoboken, Browne said.

The seventh body - the teen plane passenger - was found floating
Saturday near Pier 40 in Manhattan.

The helicopter carried a pilot and five Italian tourists, who have been identified through their fingerprints, said Italian Ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta.

Castellaneta said he had met with the medical examiner in New York as well as relatives of the victims.

"Today the relatives were asking me, 'How it can be that a holiday in New York can become such a tragedy?"' Castellaneta said in Italian.

He added that he promised to find out and that "we intend to keep that promise."

Castellaneta said he would meet with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and
was in contact with officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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