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5 dead after midair collision in Alaska

5 dead after midair collision in Alaska

The Coast Guard says 10 people were rescued after small boats and a helicopter were dispatched to the crash site.

The Beaver had 5 people aboard, and the Otter had 11 people aboard, the FAA said. Princess Cruises put the toll at five.

One plane, a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 had 11 passengers and crew; while the other, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver was carrying five.

The tragic accident occurred on Monday afternoon with guest from the large Royal Princess cruise ship while it was docked in Ketchikan.

The cruise line confirmed to CityNews Vancouver that both planes were carrying guests from Royal Princess, which is now sailing a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise after departing Vancouver on Saturday, May 11 for Anchorage.

In a statement, Taquan Air said it had suspended all flights.

A second float plane, which was also involved in the crash, carried four guests from the Royal Princess on a different tour.

One of the floatplanes, on an independent tour, had four guests on board, plus a pilot, all whom have died.

Nine of the passengers on the Taquan Air plane were rescued and received medical attention with one passenger's condition still unknown, the release said.

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Princess Cruises says in a statement it is "deeply saddened" by the news and providing help to the families affected by the crash.

"A case like this, we will search as long as we can", he said. She also said the ship would not leave as scheduled and that details were not provided as to how the accident could affect the rest of the cruise ship's trip.

"We are devastated by this news and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families".

Although the two planes went down at roughly the same time in the same general vicinity, it was not immediately clear whether they were involved in a single crash.

The injured were taken to Peace Health's Ketchikan Medical Center. Investigators found that pilot turned off a system meant to warn of looming terrain. At the time the planes were operating excursions booked by the passengers from Carnival-owned Princess Cruises. Promech Air operated that flight; Taquan bought Promech the next year.

There was a serious, though not fatal, crash last July involving Taquan Air.

Weather conditions in the area on Monday included high overcast skies with 9 miles per hour southeast winds.

The Otter crashed about a mile away on the other side of the inlet, he said. Preliminary reports to the Coast Guard indicate that this was a mid-air collision between the two planes.


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