COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Witnesses are describing the moment when they saw two planes collide and then crash into Lake Coeur d'Alene on Sunday.
Authorities with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office say eight people are believed dead after a float plane and Cessna crashed into each other. Both planes have been located in 127 feet of water and recovery efforts are continuing on Tuesday.
Authorities believe there are no survivors of the crash.
Angie Bishop says she was on the shore with her friend when she saw the crash happen. She remembers seeing flames first before hearing the planes hit the water.
"All of a sudden out of nowhere, a huge, big eruption of flames. It's like a full fire ball flame in the sky," Bishop said. "And my friend and I are just standing there you could just see debris falling with it and you can tell it was obviously an airplane in the sky. But it fell to the ground and a huge loud noise followed it."
"It was pretty terrifying. We were all standing at the beach watching it and completely shocked at what we saw," she added.
Grant Marchant, another witness, said he was boating on Lake Coeur d'Alene when the crash happened. He described the sound of the planes colliding as a "loud crack."
“The girl in the boat with us who had screamed — I mean, it registered to me that she was screaming in anticipation of watching those two planes collide. After that, I heard the crack and that’s when I turned around and saw one of the planes in fire, in flames, going down," Marchant said.
A man in a fishing boat discovered two bodies in the lake shortly after the crash, Marchant said.
“We were in the crash site and it wasn’t but a few seconds until the gentleman from the other fishing boat across from us shouted out that 'he found a body, he found a body.' He shouted out again, 'I’ve got two, I’ve got two bodies over here. I need help. I need help!'" Marchant said.
Marchant says he then dove into the water and swam over to the man's fishing boat to help with the recovery efforts.
Jared Frye was also out on the lake with friends and some teenage boys when the crash happened. He said they won't ever forget what they saw.
"It wasn't even as loud as the loud firework that must makes the big boom," Frye said. "Brandi, my friend, said, 'You were waving your hands.' I was waving my hands because I couldn't get a word out. I couldn't explain what I was seeing. And then I finally yelled out, 'Look! Look!,' and just a huge ball of flame."
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He said he didn't know if one of the planes had engine failure or what happened.
"We got all the kids in the back of the boat, started pulling a bunch of life jackets out, and had all the adults out on the front," he said. "We were there in about 20 seconds, and so was another dozen boats, another guy came up to us and said, 'No there were two, we saw it.' We were just searching water and debris."
Frye said they were right next to the boaters who helped pull some of the victims from the water.
"We were right next to the guy and we came through and they said, 'If you have kids on your boat, you need to go.' They had found, and were pulling one of them in," he said. "It was almost an automatic, when we got off the boat, just emotion. Very extreme emotion, from both of them. Understandably so. We were all emotional, just lots of tears, and from teenage boys, that's not something you see much anymore."