January 9, 2017 at 7 PM
Several pieces of debris were recovered today. Those pieces will be brought in from the lake and vetted to ensure they are relevant to this investigation. Crews and vessels have suspended operations for tonight and are breaking their way through the ice on the water to return to land.
We would like to commend our crews from the City’s safety forces, our partners, the divers and equipment and vessel operators for their dedication to this search and recovery operation.
Our thoughts remain with the families of the passengers aboard the Cessna 525 Citation as they endure this difficult time.
Recovery Operation Update #18
January 9, 2017 @ 4:00 p.m.
The Army Corps’ tug had to break through thick ice to get the Salvage Chief out onto the water this morning. Both vessels picked up equipment near the 9th Street Pier around 10:30 a.m. After loading necessary equipment and crews, they headed out onto Lake Erie, but it was a slow go due to the ice. Below is a video of the boats moving through ice on the lake (video credit: Underwater Marine Contractors). The vessels reached open water just before noon and headed to the dive site.
Divers and crews began extracting additional pieces of debris from the water around 1:30 p.m. Investigators are carefully inspecting recovered debris. At first look, larger pieces appear to be portions of the fuselage. Separately, seats that appear to belong to the aircraft were recovered. Additional debris is expected to be recovered throughout the day. As we can confirm that the debris is relevant to this investigation and that the families have been briefed, we will confirm.
Due to weather, minimal foot patrols are doing shoreline searches.
We will continue to provide updates on http://www.clecityhall.com.
Recovery Operation Update #17
January 9, 2017 @ 8:30 a.m.
Search and recovery operations for the Cessna 525 Citation continue today.
There is ice on Lake Erie. The Army Corps of Engineers will operate its tug to break ice and escort the Underwater Marine Contractors’ Salvage Chief to the water search area. Side scanning sonar and a drop sector scanner will on the vessels and utilized to take images of the bottom of the lake and track divers.
Divers will begin in the dive site they left off from on Friday. They are investigating what appears to be a larger piece of debris. At this time, it is not clear what that piece of debris is or whether it is related to this operation. The debris will be extracted from the lake and further investigated. Once we can confirm that it belongs to the aircraft, and the family has been made aware, we will provide an update.
Foot patrols and Cleveland Police Helicopter will continue to search the shoreline as weather allows.
The Fleming Family is hosting a memorial today in Canfield, Ohio. We ask that you continue to respect the family by only sharing confirmed information.
We will provide updates as they are available on the City’s blog www.clecityhall.com, as well as Twitter @CityofCleveland and www.facebook.com/CityofCleveland.