Black Hawk wreck recovery ends Friday night
NAVARRE BEACH, Fla. - Recovery operations ended Friday evening with pieces of a downed Black Hawk helicopter still under 25 feet of water.
It took four hours to pull the main rotor section of the helicopter up to the surface. Crews were able to remove two pieces of the helicopter, the Pensacola newspaper reported.
Larger sections, like the fusualge and tail remained under the water, TV station WKRG reported Friday night.
A foggy haze covered Santa Rose sound, an area of the Florida panhandle between the Gulf, popular beaches and the main shoreline, as crews lifted the wreckage out of the water. Workers in bright red jumpsuits worked alongside people in military fatigues on boats and a barge during the recovery process Friday.
Eleven Marines and locally-based Louisiana National Guardsmen died in the wreckage. The bodies of the seven Marines have been recovered and publicly identified. The bodies of two national guardsman were recovered and only family members were notified. Two other guardsmen have not been found, their bodies are presumed to be in the cockpit, at the bottom of the sound.
A couple who told Pensacola TV station WEAR their home security system may have captured the moment the helicopter crashed said they watched recovery and search efforts and overheard the search party discussing the damage to the helicopter.
"The nose was pushed into the cabin, pretty much the windows were blown out inside the helicopter," the unidentified man said Thursday.
Work at the wreck site will likely continue through the weekend.
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IMAGE: WKRG TV video