Two bodies found after small plane crashes off Cyprus

NICOSIA - Two bodies were recovered on Thursday after a small airplane crashed into the sea off Cyprus, official media said.

The wreckage of the Diamond DA42 light aircraft was found about 45 nautical miles (83 kilometres) from Larnaca, on Cyprus's southeast coast, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

A German and a Brazilian ship were bringing back the wreckage and the bodies of the men - a Greek Cypriot and a Lebanese.

The plane disappeared after taking off from Cyprus en route to Beirut.

Reports in Lebanon said the pair were on a training flight.

The pilot was said to have turned back after encountering what he described as a "small problem".

After that air traffic controllers had tried to reach them by radio on numerous occasions, but received no answer.

The men will be officially identified through DNA sampling once they reach shore, authorities said.

Israel, as well as the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), joined the search.