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'Catastrophic Scene': Rescuers Struggle To Retrieve Bodies From Queensland Plane Wreckage

Gaining access to the location in far north Queensland where a light aircraft crashed killing five men has proved problematic for rescuers.

The bodies of the pilot and four government workers remain in the wreckage of the twin-engine Cessna that crashed on a beach during its third attempt to land at Lockhart River Airport on Wednesday.

Cape York police Inspector Mark Henderson said it was a "catastrophic scene" and the crash site could only be accessed via water.

"We are challenged with the tides. High tides are up against the dunes which are preventing access and it is some five kilometres down from the Lockhart River boat ramp," he said.

Image: Supplied

"The dunes back onto thickery and onto a swamp. It makes access extremely difficult. There is no other access to it via the ground other than light boat during high tide times.

"We will work throughout the day and into the weekend to bring closure for the families."

The deceased were all from the Cairns area, police said.

The pilot was aged 38 while the four passengers, from the Queensland government's building unit QBuild in Cairns, were aged 49, 57, 62 and 63.

The eldest was health and safety officer Wayne Ganter, 63, who had spent years in the construction industry, according to The Cairns Post.

The other men named by local news report were Mark Rawlings, 49, and Wayne Brischke, 57.

The plane smashed into sand dunes about 7km southeast of the airstrip.