Richmond woman among those killed in Alaska floatplane crash

15 May, 2019, 18:57 | Author: Wade Massey
  • A small private plane

The search continues for two missing people - including a Canadian - following Monday's mid-air float plane crash in Alaska.

One of the aircraft involved the Alaskan accident, the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, is the same model of floatplane that crashed and killed six people in Sydney on New Year's Eve in 2017.

The California-based company said Tuesday the Canadian and an Australian had not been located after their single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver collided with a float plane carrying 11 people near Ketchikan.

Ten people were rescued and suffered injuries ranging from "arm fractures to ribs to spine to leg", hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg told the Daily News.

According to United States media outlets, several of the passengers on board the planes were from a cruise ship.

Betty Hill, a passenger now on the Royal Princess from California, said the news was announced to cruise passengers around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The flight was returning from a Misty Fjords tour.

A popular activity is flightseeing in Misty Fjords National Monument to view the lakes, snowcapped peaks and glacier valleys in the wilderness area. Trips cost about $260 each.

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

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It's not the first time a major plane crash has occurred near Ketchikan, a popular tourist destination. The planes came down about two kilometres apart with some of the debris field on land.

A spokeswoman for Taquan Air, operator of the Otter, said the company had suspended operations while federal authorities investigate the deadly crash. The larger Otter landed in water and sank, he said.

"We are incredibly distressed by the situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the planes and their families", the cruise line said in a statement.

Global Affairs Canada said in an emailed statement Tuesday that the name and hometown of the victim is not being made public for privacy reasons.

"It has also been confirmed there are five fatalities from the independent air tour".

Jerry Kiffer of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad said several of the passengers had been removed from the beach by the time his crews arrived on Monday.

Three survivors were released from PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Ketchikan on Tuesday. Three of those rescued were in serious condition and one was critical, a local hospital told NBC News.

Randy Sullivan, 46-year-old male, pilot, from Ketchikan, Alaska.

Eleven people were inside Taquan Air's single-engine de Havilland Otter DHC-3 when it went down.

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