May 17, 2017 / 3:14 PM / a year ago

U.S. searchers find debris believed from plane lost near Bahamas

May 17 (Reuters) - Search teams have found and identified wreckage they believe came from a small aircraft that disappeared near the Bahamas this week with four Americans on board, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday.

A seat from a Mitsubishi Corp MU-2B twin-engine turboprop, the same aircraft that lost contact with air traffic controllers en route to Florida from Puerto Rico, was found among other debris on Tuesday 15 miles (24 km) east of Eleuthera, Bahamas, Coast Guard Petty Officer Luke Clayton said.

“We are assuming that it is (from the lost plane) because of the location - where the debris field location was - and there was a fresh fuel slick in that area,” Clayton said.

A Coast Guard search plane and patrol boat were still looking for survivors in the area, he added.

Four people were on board the missing aircraft, including pilot Nathan Ulrich, 52, of New Hampshire; Jennifer Blumin, 40, of New York, and her two sons, ages 3 and 4, the Coast Guard said.

Officials had initially reported that Ulrich was from New York and that Blumin’s sons were 10 and 4 years old.

The plane was reported lost after failing to arrive on Monday at Titusville, Florida, 40 miles (64 km) east of Orlando on Florida’s Atlantic coast. It had departed Borinquen, Puerto Rico, at about 11 a.m. local time on Monday. (Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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