KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The bodies of five people were found Wednesday in the wreckage of a commuter plane that crashed and burned as it carried doctors and other medical professionals to a conference.
Thirteen people died in the crash Tuesday night. Two escaped with little more than broken bones. The bodies of all the victims have now been recovered.
"It was remarkable," said National Transportation Safety Board (search) member Carol Carmody of the survivors.
The plane took off from St. Louis (search) and went down in woods as it came in for a landing in Kirksville, a city of about 17,000.
Carmody didn't release the identities of those who died in the crash, although some have been identified by family members and employers.
Authorities called it a miracle that anyone managed to survive the crash of the Jetstream 32, a 19-seat twin-engine turboprop flown by Corporate Airlines (search).
Rescuers found the plane's fuselage in flames, with one of its wings broken off. Most of the debris was found in compact area of about 40-by-60 feet, Carmody said.
The two survivors, a 44-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man, suffered only broken bones and some burns, and were in fair condition Wednesday.
"We see car accidents with worse injuries coming in here every week," said Dr. Charles Zeman, director of trauma services at Northeast Regional Medical Center. "This is truly a miracle."
The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Carmody said the NTSB expected to get an initial reading Thursday from the plane's two flight data recorders.
"The black boxes are very important to the investigation, provided they're in good condition," Carmody said. "These looked like they were. We never know until we read them out."
The crew's last communication indicated the plane was on a normal approach to the airport, with no mention of any problems, said Elizabeth Isham Cory, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman.
The plane clipped treetops before crashing on private property in a wooded area between two fields. Some victims were found dead in their seats. The woman who survived was walking around when rescuers arrived, and the man was found in brush about 25 feet from the fuselage, Chief Sheriff's Deputy Larry Logston said.
The focused debris field is about 100 feet from those treetops, Carmody said.
Many of the passengers were on their way to a Wednesday conference on humanism in medicine, said Philip Slocum, dean and vice president for medical affairs at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Two were from the New Jersey-based Arnold P. Gold Foundation, said Barbara Packer, the foundation's managing director.
"As bad as you think it's going to be, it's worse to go through it. There's been a lot of tears. It's very painful," Slocum said.
The airline and investigators declined to release the names of anyone on board. But some family members and employers identified a few passengers.
In New York, the office of Dr. Steve Z. Miller, director of pediatric emergency medicine at the Columbia University medical school, said he was among those aboard the craft.
"He has a lot of interaction with the students here because he's very loved," said Josiah Ambrose, a fourth-year medical student. "He was a pretty pivotal part of our medical school."
Also on the plane was Dr. Richard Sarkin, 54, who was affiliated with Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., and was an associate professor of clinical pediatrics and the director of pediatric medical student education at the University at Buffalo, said Kaleida Health spokesman Michael Hughes.
Also, a Dallas-area photographer, Paul Talley, 44, of Mesquite, Texas, was aboard, said Pastor Charles Wilson of the First Baptist Church in Sunnyvale, Texas. Talley's wife, Alicia, authorized her minister to confirm her husband's death.
One of the two survivors is Dr. John Krogh of Wallsburg, Utah, a part-time faculty member teaching physical therapy at Provo College, the school said.
Corporate Airlines, based in Smyrna, Tenn., began operating in 1996 and is affiliated with American Airlines.