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  1. ITV Report

Wreckage from Sydney seaplane crash lifted from river

The fuselage has been lifted from the river. Credit: APTN

Wreckage of a seaplane which crashed near Sydney, killing five Brits, has been partially lifted from a river.

A crane barge lifted the bulk of the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver out from the Hawkesbury River on Thursday (January 4), five days after the tragedy on New Year's Eve.

Richard Cousins, the 58-year-old chief executive of FTSE 100 company Compass Group, died alongside his sons Will and Edward, aged 25 and 23 respectively, his fiancee Emma Bowden, 48, and her 11-year-old daughter Heather.

The Australian pilot, 44-year-old Gareth Morgan, also died.

The recovery mission came as reports emerged claiming the aircraft had been rebuilt after previously being "destroyed" in a fatal crash in the 90s.

Five British citizens were killed in the crash.

Nat Nagy, executive director of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, said he was "aware" of the incident in November 1996, after which investigators recorded "damage to aircraft" as "destroyed".

"There were a number of factors involved in that incident and that will be something we look at," he said.

"It's a matter of course and routine in any investigation to look at ... the individual aircraft history and any other incidents that may be relevant."

The small aircraft, owned by Sydney Seaplanes, apparently nose-dived into the river at around 3.10pm (4.10am GMT) on Sunday.

Mr Nagy said the seaplane's fuselage, its floats and one of the wings had been recovered and recovery teams were in the process of lifting the remaining pieces onto the barge.

Workers lift part of the wreckage from the water. Credit: AP