(CBS 58) — A plane crash in Panama has left two women from Wisconsin missing.
A statement from Jake Velleman, the son of one of the missing women, says five people — including both of his parents — were aboard an airplane that suffered an engine failure off the coast of Panama Monday afternoon, Jan. 3.
Three people were rescued, including Velleman’s father.
A widescale search for the remaining two, including Velleman’s mother Debra, is ongoing.
Panama’s Civil Aviation Authority said Tuesday the two missing U.S. citizens were aged 57 and 70, but did not identify them.
Searchers in boats and aircraft combed the area off Panama’s Punta Chame, south of Panama City. The single-engine, five-seat Piper Cherokee 6 crashed into the ocean Monday. The plane was heading to Chame from Contadora island, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) away.
The statement from Velleman goes on to say, a formal request for a vessel with equipment required to undergo a search for the aircraft has been made to the U.S. government by the Panamanian government.
“Our families are hopeful that these assets will be quickly located and deployed,” stated Velleman.
Se confirma que el equipo de búsqueda y rescate SAR localizó 3 de las personas abordó de la aeronave. 2 se encuentran aun desaparecidas y se mantiene la búsqueda. pic.twitter.com/dc8qNIQ06w
— Autoridad Aeronáutica Civil de Panamá (@aacivilpty) January 3, 2022
Equipos de @amp_panama@senanpanama@Sinaproc_Panama se mantienen en la búsqueda vía marítima y a lo largo de la costa de Punta Chame de la aeronave y 2 ocupantes desaparecidos desde el día lunes. pic.twitter.com/YHAUtFzNqG
— Autoridad Aeronáutica Civil de Panamá (@aacivilpty) January 6, 2022
Read the full statement from Velleman below:
“My parents and three of their dear friends were aboard an airplane that suffered an engine failure and fell Monday afternoon in the waters off the coast of Panama. My dad, Anthony, and two others were rescued, and my dad is receiving treatment for non-life threatening injuries at Hospital Nacional in Panama City. He is likely to undergo the first of at least two surgeries to repair fractures tomorrow, Friday, January 7th.
A wide scale search by air and water for my mother, Debra, and another passenger, Sue, is continuing. Updates on the effort are being posted to the social media channels of the relevant civil agencies.
Both women are U.S. citizens, and a formal request for a vessel with the specific type of equipment required to undergo a search for the aircraft has been made to the U.S. government by the Panamanian government. Our families are hopeful that these assets will be quickly located and deployed.
My brother, Josh, has joined me in Panama, and we are receiving support from other family members in the United States. On behalf of our entire family, I want to express our sincere appreciation for each and every message of support we have received. Please know that they have all been read. The love and support and prayers from the people who have touched our lives – and whose lives have been touched by my parents – is deeply meaningful to us during this devastating time.
We are further grateful to the many, many friends and community members in Panama – our beloved second home – who have mobilized to provide a wide array of support, from meals, deliveries, medical attention, and supplies to search and recovery support.
Anyone who knows my parents knows that they are a light unto this world. Thank you for your continued prayers, thoughts, and support.”
2 Wisconsin women missing after plane crash off coast of Panama