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Witnesses who saw two planes collide in Idaho ‘dived into the water and held two bodies in place’

Three people have died and five are said to have gone missing from a mid-air collision over a lake in Idaho.

The planes – a Cessna TU206G and a de Havilland DHC-2 – collided on Sunday at 2:20 pm over Lake Coeur d’Alene, a 40-kilometer stretch of water in the Pacific Northwest.

Two bodies were found in the waters of the crash site, and a third later, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office told DailyMail.com.

The planes are placed under 127 feet of water.

Carissa Lehmkuhl was sailing on the lake when the accident happened.

“Two of my friends in the boat were screaming bloody murder,” she told ABC’s local partner, KXLY.

Two planes collided over Lake Coeur d´Alene on Sunday, killing three and missing five

Two planes collided over Lake Coeur d´Alene on Sunday, killing three and missing five

“I saw the rest of the explosion, and all the debris fell down.”

She said their boat and another were the first to arrive, between Black Bay and Powderhorn Bay, south of Coeur d’Alene and opposite Rockford Bay.

She said they had seen two bodies quite quickly.

“Two of the boys in our boat jumped out and stopped the bodies from floating away.”

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

David Kilmer, whose house overlooks the lake, said he witnessed the aftermath of the crash.

“My wife, Rebecca, saw a fireball and wings fly out of the fireball,” he told Coeur d’Alene Press.

“She said, ‘I just saw an airplane explode,’ so we went to the scene of the accident.”

A de Havilland DHC-2, like the one in the photo, collided with another plane in Idaho on Sunday

A de Havilland DHC-2, like the one in the photo, collided with another plane in Idaho on Sunday

A de Havilland DHC-2, like the one in the photo, collided with another plane in Idaho on Sunday

The second aircraft involved was a Cessna TU206G, as shown

The second aircraft involved was a Cessna TU206G, as shown

The second aircraft involved was a Cessna TU206G, as shown

Kilmer said 20-30 boaters came to the scene to aid in the recovery.

Crews from Worley Fire, Coeur d’Alene Fire and Eastside Fire Department also assisted on the spot.

“It was a great response from pleasure sailors,” said Kilmer.

“There were so many people on the lake doing everything they could to help restore what they could. Nothing floated off the plane. ‘

Kilmer added that it was more crowded on Independence Day holiday weekend.

“We saw many planes in the sky all day,” said Kilmer.

“There were many planes and people enjoying the weekend. There was nothing we could do. ‘

Higgins also praised the help of boaters who tried to help before authorities showed up.

“The weekend of July 4 was a beautiful sunny day with hundreds of boats out.

“As most boaters know, we can’t be there for everything because we only have so many boats. The water sports enthusiasts really trust the other water sports enthusiasts and do their best to help each other. ‘

Lake Coeur d'Alene draws tourists to Idaho to take to the lake by boat or walk the coast

Lake Coeur d'Alene draws tourists to Idaho to take to the lake by boat or walk the coast

Lake Coeur d’Alene draws tourists to Idaho to take to the lake by boat or walk the coast

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said they believed there were eight people on board and no survivors.

“We are currently working on sonar and diving operations, but we have come to the rescue right now – from a rescue to a recovery mode,” said Lt. Ryan Higgins of the Sheriff’s office in Kootenai County.

There was a ‘pretty bad oil slick’ on the ground after the crash, he said

The authorities are present at the Sunup Bay Boat Launch in Worley.

The area is closed and will remain closed until Monday morning.

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