Ketchikan, Alaska – Officials report that at least four people are dead after a midair collision off the coast of Alaska. Specifically, the collision occurred near Ketchikan.
The accident happened Monday afternoon.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that four people were dead. Additionally, they reported that two people were still missing. Finally, they rescued and hospitalized ten additional passengers.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios commented on the situation to ABC News. Good Morning America aired the interview on Tuesday.
Rios said, “Our crews are out there searching diligently alongside our partner agencies and some good Samaritans. They’ve been searching throughout the day, by both air and by sea.”
The Federal Aviation Administration added further details about the incident. Specifically, they reported that a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver carrying five passengers, and a de-Havilland Otter DHC-3 with 11 people on board clashed in midair “under unknown circumstances”.
Furthermore, the two planes were carrying sightseers from the Royal Princess Cruise ship. The cruise was on a seven-day trip that began on May 11 in Vancouver, headed to Anchorage.
Princess Cruises said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened to report this news and our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives and the families impacted by today’s accident”.
PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center took in the remaining ten injured passengers. Hospital spokeswoman Mischa Chernick reported that three patients are in serious condition. Meanwhile, seven are in fair condition.
Currently, officials have not released the names of the passengers involved. However, officials identified at least one victim as Canadian.
The FAA, the Coast Guard, and the National Transportation Safety Board are all continuing to investigate the incident.