Seaplanes collide off Alaska's coast near Ketchikan

Lester Mason
May 16, 2019

It is believed that the planes - a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver (carrying four guests) and a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 (carrying 10 guests) - collided in mid-air, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, Anchorage Daily News reported.

Tuesday's search for the two missing passengers involved a Coast Guard helicopter, a flotilla of boats and teams from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ketchikan Fire Department and other rescue units, Schofield said.

The two planes collided around 1 p.m. (5 p.m. ET).

A 37-year-old Richmond woman has been identified as one of the six people killed when two float planes crashed into each other near Ketchikan on Monday, according to Alaska State Troopers. Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said those people were unaccounted for.

National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy said both aircraft were inbound to Ketchikan when the collision occurred at about 12.21pm.

Seaplanes have pontoons mounted under the fuselage so they can land on water.

One passenger on the larger plane died, as did two passengers and the pilot on the smaller plane, Princess Cruises said in a statement.

Ten of those passengers were taken to a Ketchikan hospital.

Three of the people who died were aboard the second plane, a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver carrying five people, according to Dykens.

The fourth deceased person was a passenger of the Otter plane, and the body was recovered during a Monday night search, Kahle said.

Ten people were rescued and are receiving medical care.

A spokesperson for Taquan Air, the operator of the Otter, said the company had suspended operations while federal authorities investigate the deadly crash.

"Our community is heartbroken over this tragedy and its devastating impact on so many families", Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor David Landis said in the news release.

She said the ship was not leaving as scheduled and there weren't any details as to how the accident will affect the rest of the trip.

The cruise ship had left Vancouver for Anchorage on Saturday and is scheduled to return on May 25.

"All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened by this tragic news and we are extending our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the traveling companions of the guests involved".

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives and the families of those impacted by today's accident", the company said.

Weather conditions in the area on Monday included high overcast skies with 14 kph southeast winds.

Three survivors of the horror plane collision were released from PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center on Tuesday, hospital officials said. They'd been passengers on an aerial tour of the George Inlet.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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