US Coast Guard searching for plane with 11 on board in Alaska
13 July, 2018, 02:39 | Author: Wade Massey
The airplane went down on Prince of Wales Island, near Hetta Inlet, at about 2,000 feet of elevation, on heavily forested Mount Jumbo.
Tim DeSpain, a spokesman for the Alaska State Troopers, said the pilot reported there were injuries but no deaths among the 11 on board after the crash on Prince of Wales Island. The survivors were taken to a staging area to be transported to Ketchikan, while those with injuries that required immediate medical treatment were airlifted to Ketchikan Medical Center, the Coast Guard said.
All were rescued. The Coast Guard says all were reported to have received minor injuries.
It happened about 40 miles southwest of Ketchikan, and rescue operations are under way. "This one had a good outcome so far", he said.
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Coast Guard commander and Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Mike Kahle praised the pilot, 72-year-old Mike Hodgins, who had kept his 10 passengers safe while landing the aircraft in the uneven terrain.
"We don't know specifically what the extent of those injuries are", Clint Johnson, of the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Anchorage Daily News. A photo distributed by the Coast Guard shows a white plane with blue trim on rocky terrain.
The company said it had suspended all scheduled flights Tuesday and was cooperating with authorities. Alaska State Troopers have identified the plane as a Taquan Air flight. 'It is imperative we understand the factors surrounding this incident to prevent similar ones, ' the company said in a statement.
The pilot of the Dehavilland DHC-3 plane was able to call the Coast Guard after the crash, notifying them of the location on Prince of Wales Island, northeast of Hydaburg. The island is part of the Tongass National Forest.
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