Massive 5 county search underway for missing plane

This stock photo of a Cessna airplane is provided for illustration, it does not represent the plane referred to in the attached news report. | Photo by sh_yaniv / IStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – Search and rescue crews from five different counties were deployed Sunday morning in a widespread search effort for a missing plane.

Iron, Piute, Beaver, Garfield and Sevier counties organized their respective search and rescue crews early Sunday morning after receiving a report at around 6 a.m. of a missing Cessna 172 plane, Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower said. The Department of Public Safety and the Southern Utah University Aviation School have also deployed helicopters to help in the search that currently encompasses 400 square miles.

“It’s a huge search area,” Gower said. “We’re trying now to narrow the search grid through phone pings and radar.”

Authorities have reason to believe the plane may have come down in Iron County but say that it could be anywhere in those five counties, Gower said.

The plane left Phoenix Saturday evening and was scheduled to land at Salt Lake City International Airport that same night. Gower was not sure of the exact time the plane was slated to come in.

Authorities are not releasing any additional information.

This is a developing story Cedar City News will continue to update with additional details as they come in.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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