Witness reports suggest small aircraft crashed into rapids

Authorities are scouring the Ottawa River for what may be a crashed aircraft after receiving reports of unusual bright lights near the Deschenes Rapids on Monday night.

Ottawa police Const. Alain Boucher said police received several reports that lights were seen travelling at high speeds on the Ottawa River near the rapids at the Britannia Yacht Club about 10 p.m. on Monday.

There were also reports that some witnesses heard a loud bang shortly after seeing the lights.

Some reports indicated the lights appeared to be a plane, Boucher said. After contacting several airports in the area, police have no reports of a missing plane or any missing pilot, he said.

There has also been no sign of wreckage in the area, Boucher added.

The rapids were not searched overnight due to safety concerns.

The National Defence co-ordinator has sent out a plane to look in the area, he said. A military helicopter is also in the area and search and rescue teams are on site.

The police were continuing the search for any clues about the origin of the suspicious lights on Tuesday, he added.

Officials said the search is being treated as a retrieval mission.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2009/07/28/ottawa-river-rapids-lights-search645.html

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