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Superstition Plane Crash: Don't Pick Up Bones Near Crash Site, PCSO Says

The trails on the Superstition Mountains near the site of last week's plane crash are now open for business, even as wreckage from the crash -- including human bone fragments, apparently -- remains on the mountain.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says one hiker's already found a bone fragment near the crash site and brought it to the Lost Dutchman ranger station -- which apparently is a no-no.

"[The hiker] brought the [bone] fragment to the Lost Dutchman ranger station and left it with no contact information," PCSO spokesman Elias Johnson says. "PCSO does NOT want anyone taking pieces of wreckage or remains discovered from the site. This is a major pubic safety concern."

Johnson says the PCSO, as well as several other agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, have done their best to recover all the remains, but "given the nature of the crash and extremely difficult environment to work in, there will be items we missed or simply cannot reach."

He advises hikers to not remove anything that might be related to the crash from the crash site, and to treat it like a "living memorial."

Six people were killed in the crash, including three children -- ages 6, 8, and 9. More on the crash here.

The PCSO also today released frantic 9-1-1 calls from people who witnessed the crash.

"We were watching it fly over and it burst into fire. Oh, my God,'' one caller told a dispatcher. "It just kind of flew into the freakin' mountain. It looked like he didn't know that Ship Rock was there.''

Investigators say there's nothing to indicate there was anything wrong with the plane, which they determined "flew straight and level" into the side of the mountain.

A preliminary report about the crash is expected to be released in a few days.


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