The Latvian Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) confirmed that an aviation accident occurred at sea.
“The CAA can confirm that a “Cessna” passenger aircraft has fallen within the Latvian airspace near Ventspils, with rescue and search jobs being carried out in accordance with all procedures. Vessels from Latvia have gone to carry out rescue work, as well as helicopters from Lithuania and Sweden, to reach the site as soon as possible,” CAA spokesman Aivis Vincev said on Latvian Radio.
Swedish news outlet Dagens Nyheter reported that Cessna 551 was built in 1979 and took off from Spain at 15:57 Latvian time. According to the German news outlet Bild, there were four people on the plane - the pilot, a man, a woman and their daughter. The pilot had allegedly reported problems with cabin pressure over northeast France. According to initial findings, the pilot could have lost consciousness. At 20:37, it was recorded that the plane was rapidly losing altitude and speed, then the aircraft disappeared from the radar, Reuters reported.
Dagens Nyheter reports that past midnight, drones had also been sent on the search missions.
According to Swedish officials, Germany and Denmark had also sent military planes to inspect the plane but were unable to establish contact with it.
A wreck and oil-like spot was spotted by a Swedish rescue helicopter. Chief of the Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) Marine Search and Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Pēteris Subbota confirmed to Latvian Television that Latvia was also involved in rescue work. The NBS coastguard ship arrived at the site of the incident, which will continue search work involving helicopters from Sweden and Lithuania, said the chief of the MRCC.
Shortly after the downfall of the aircraft, a ferry which had traveled from Ventspils to Sweden, was also involved in the search work.
On Monday morning, Subbota told Latvian Radio that one piece of the plane and a concentrated waste patch had been found. The passengers had not been found by Monday morning.
UK newspaper The Guardian reported that the owner of the plane was a German businessman, Karl-Peter Griesemann.