Two more bodies found after Alaska planes crash

The bodies of two more people have been found after small sightseeing planes crashed in Alaska, the US Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Brian Dykens said six people died in the collision on Monday afternoon near Ketchikan, a popular destination for cruise ships in Alaska.

Mr Dykens said his agency and the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad found the two bodies near the crash site of the smaller plane involved in the collision, a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.

Ten people, all Americans, were injured, with three of them released from a hospital on Tuesday.

The missing passengers were from Canada and Australia, Princess Cruises said.

The larger plane, a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 with 10 passengers and the pilot, was returning from Misty Fjords when it collided with a smaller sightseeing plane, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver carrying four passengers from the same cruise ship and a pilot.

The cause of the crash in relatively good weather, high overcast skies with light southeast winds, was not known.

The crash occurred about eight miles from Ketchikan, near George Inlet. The planes came down about a mile-and-a-half apart.

The Otter, operated by Taquan Air, was initially travelling at an altitude of about 3,800ft, according to Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, whose investigators arrived in Ketchikan on Tuesday afternoon.

He said the Otter had descended to an altitude of around 3,300ft when it collided with the Beaver as both headed to Ketchikan.

The smaller plane was partially submerged in the shore of George Inlet after the single-engine plane overturned and hit some trees before crashing, according to Mr Dykens.

The larger Otter landed in water and sank, he said.

Three of the four who died were among the five people aboard the Beaver, according to Mr Dykens.

Princess Cruises in its release said two passengers and the pilot were among those killed in this plane.

Canadian officials said on Tuesday that one of its citizens was among the dead.

Global Affairs Canada expressed condolences but did not identify the person because of privacy reasons.

The smaller plane, which operated independently and not as an official excursion flight booked through the cruise ship, was owned by Mountain Air Service of Ketchikan, which did not immediately return a call on Tuesday.

Emergency response crews transport an injured passenger on Monday (Dustin Safranek/Ketchikan Daily News via AP)

The Beaver appears to have broken apart in midair, according to Jerry Kiffer, duty incident commander of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad.

He said the plane’s tail and a section of the fuselage were 900ft from the aircraft’s floats, which landed near shore.

After the crash, the 10 injured people were initially taken to a hospital in Ketchikan.

Four patients were later transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, suffering various broken bones, spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Three survivors were released from PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Ketchikan on Tuesday.

Hospital spokeswoman Marty West says the remaining three are in fair condition.

The Royal Princess left Vancouver, British Columbia, on May 11 and was scheduled to arrive in Anchorage on Saturday.

“We are extending our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the travelling companions of the guests involved,” the company said in a statement.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Tompkins claims hat-trick as Saracens ease into Premiership final

59,000 sign petition backing doctor who asked Muslim patient to remove veil

Could Madhmoon spoil Ballydoyle’s Derby party?

Airtricity League wrap: 10-man Bohs suffer late defeat

More in this Section

59,000 sign petition backing doctor who asked Muslim patient to remove veil

Donald Trump arrives in Tokyo for state visit, golf and sumo

Police hunt suspect after 13 injured in Lyon explosion

Ramaphosa sworn in as South Africa’s president


Lifestyle

Gardening: Something for everyone at Chelsea Flower Show

Relishing the Riviera: St Tropez still the jet set destination it has always been

Restaurant review: Ristorante Rinuccini - Kilkenny

The Wine List: Will 2019 see the rise of rosé in Ireland?

More From The Irish Examiner