By Richard Weizel
MILFORD, Conn., Aug 9 (Reuters) - The mayor of East Haven, Connecticut, where four people died on Friday when a small plane piloted by a retired Microsoft Corp executive crashed into two houses, said the two youngest victims will likely be identified later on Saturday.
Searchers, who had estimated as many as six deaths in the crash and subsequent fire, now believe they have found all the victims, said East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo.
"Everyone has now been accounted for," a visibly shaken Maturo told a press conference on Saturday. "Right now our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and our efforts are to ensure the safety and well-being of the neighborhood by taking down the two houses impacted by the crash."
The deceased pilot, Bill Henningsgaard, and his son Maxwell had been on a trip to visit colleges when the plane crashed at midday on Friday, according to a Bellevue, Washington nonprofit organization where he had served as executive director.
"The loss of Bill and Max is tragic," the organization, Eastside Pathways, said.
The two victims whose identities have not yet been disclosed were children, East Haven town officials said. But neighbors interviewed near the crash site said on Friday that the victims were aged 1 and 13.
The four victims' bodies have been taken to the office of the state medical examiner, which expects to disclose their names at a 5 p.m. ET (2100 GMT) press conference, Maturo said. The National Transportation Safety Board also plans to provide an update on its investigation at that time, he added.
The twin-engine propeller plane had taken off from Teterboro airport in New Jersey on Friday morning and had been attempting to land at Tweed New Haven Airport, about 40 miles (67 km) south of Hartford, in rainy weather when it crashed.
East Haven is a town of about 30,000 people located near the Long Island Sound, about 85 miles (137 km) northeast of New York City.
Two bodies had been recovered from the site on Friday and two additional bodies were recovered overnight, East Haven Fire Department Assistant Chief Chuck Licata said on Saturday.
"We were able to pull four bodies from the plane and one of the homes," Licata said.
A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that Henningsgaard was a former employee of the company.
The pilot's brother, Blair Henningsgaard, described Bill Henningsgaard as a careful pilot who had taken up flying after retiring from Microsoft.
"This is the third plane he's owned," Henningsgaard told Connecticut's WTNH television. He added that his brother had crashed once before, in 2009, when the fuel system on his plane malfunctioned.
That hadn't deterred him from returning to the cockpit, Henningsgaard said. "He believed that there wasn't anything that he couldn't figure out and accomplish if he put his mind to it."
Maturo praised former teacher David Esposito, who lived nearby the crash site, for running into one of the houses and searching for the children following the crash.
"People like Mr. Esposito are the true heroes," Maturo said.