4 dead, 2 missing, 10 hospitalized after midair collision over Alaska

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2019

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.

The Coast Guard said that it, partner agencies and good Samaritans were continuing to look for those two people in the vicinity of George Inlet near Ketchikan.

Dykens said a Coast Guard helicopter located the bodies and sent in the Ketchikan volunteers.

Floatplanes are aircrafts with pontoons or floats that allow them to land on water.

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.

In a statement to ABC News, Princess Cruise Lines said: "We are incredibly distressed by the situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those onboard the planes and their families". Part of the voyage, the company's website said, included "scenic glacier viewing" with stops at Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway.

A team of federal accident investigators is expected to arrive in Alaska Tuesday to try to piece together what caused a deadly mid-air collision between two sightseeing planes.

One of the planes, the a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver on an independent tour, had four guests on board, plus a pilot. As of Tuesday night, three had been discharged. Preliminary reports to the Coast Guard indicate that this was a mid-air collision between the two planes.

At this time, the U.S. Coast Guard and local search and rescue teams have "confirmed that nine of the guests have been rescued and are now receiving medical attention with the condition of one guest still unknown", Owyoung says.

The current number of fatalities has risen to six, with the Ketchikan Borough confirming that the remains of the two passengers still missing 24 hours later had been recovered.

"This is not the outcome we hoped for and extend our deepest sympathies during this very hard time".

The 10 rescued passengers were being treated at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, USA Today reported, and one of those patients was in critical condition.

Steve McCaughey, executive director of the Florida-based Seaplane Pilots Association, said the two types of planes involved are popular and flown all over Alaska and the world.

The investigators will collect information from the survivors, the Federal Aviation Administration, other witnesses who might have been in the area, flight logs, training records and other sources, including the wrecked planes, Homendy said.

Two sightseeing planes carrying cruise ship passengers in Alaska collided at about the 3,300-foot (1,006-meter) level before they crashed, the National Transportation Safety Board announced after a team arrived from Washington, D.C., to investigate the crash.

Other reports by iNewsToday