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Published: Thursday, 7/9/2009

Coast Guard finds human remains among plane debris off Florida's Gulf Coast


PORT RICHEY, Fla. Human remains were discovered Thursday among a two-mile debris field off Florida s Gulf Coast from a small plane that crashed with five people on board, authorities said.

A Coast Guard spokesman said the remains were found by the Cutter Alligator as it searched overnight through the wreckage of the twin-engine Cessna. It was unclear how many people the remains belong to.

The plane was flying from McKinney, Texas, to Tampa when it went down Wednesday afternoon about 20 miles west of Port Richey. The Federal Aviation Administration said air traffic controllers in Jacksonville lost radio and radar contact with the plane after it reported turbulence at 1:52 p.m.

A forecaster at the National Weather Service said there were thunderstorms and lightning in the area at the time, which can create turbulence.

It wasn t blue sky. There were some storms out there, forecaster Ryan Sharp said.

A statement from Quality Powder Coating LP said Thursday that that two of its employees and members of their families were on board the plane. The company said officials have not gotten confirmation from the NTSB on the status of those on the plane, which included company president Roland Schurrer and company pilot and marketing representative Steve Barrows.

Carrollton-based Quality Powder Coating is an industrial powder coating and finishing company. Its Web site says powder coating is mostly used for coating metals and aluminum.

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