Rescuers in a remote, mountainous region of Panama were struggling to evacuate a 12-year-old American girl, the only survivor of a small plane crash that killed a California businessman, his teenage daughter and their Panamanian pilot.
The bodies of Michael Klein, 37, Talia Klein, 13, and pilot Edwin Lasso, 23, were found on Tuesday afternoon in an uninhabited region known as Las Ovejas, 435km west of the capital, Panama's civil protection agency said.
The wreckage was in a hard-to-reach site on the slope of the Baru volcano, at an altitude of about 1,070m, the civil aviation authority said.
Rescuers were giving medical attention to Francesca Lewis -- a friend of Talia's who was traveling with the Kleins -- in a makeshift shelter, said Jose Henriquez, a prosecutor in the Chiriqui state capital of David who is handling the investigation.
Officials said she was suffering from multiple injuries and hypothermia, and cold, wet weather had prevented authorities from evacuating her immediately from the site. Henriquez said he did not know the extent of her injuries or whether they were life-threatening.
"They're warming her, and we hope to be able to get her out sometime tonight to a hospital," Henriquez said by telephone from Boquete in Chiriqui state. "It's raining and it's very cold."
Civil protection officials erroneously said earlier that Lewis had already been taken to a hospital in David.
Aviation authorities said the cause of the crash was not yet known, but RPC radio reported that witnesses saw the plane flying at a very low altitude around noon on Sunday amid buffeting winds.
Klein, a 37-year-old hedge fund manager, was on vacation with the two girls at an eco-resort he owns in Panama, said Kim Klein, his ex-wife and Talia's mother. The three had been scheduled to return to Santa Barbara, California, on Monday, she told the Associated Press from Boquete, Panama, earlier on Tuesday.
Their plane disappeared after departing on Sunday morning from Islas Secas off Panama's Pacific coast, heading for the Chiriqui volcano.
Rescue workers and volunteers combed a mountainous area of Panama's western Chiriqui province on Monday and Tuesday, but dense tropical foliage, mountainous terrain and heavy rains made air and land searches extremely difficult, said Roberto Rolando Rodriguez, a spokesman for the nation's air security agency.
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