Coast Guard: 5 Killed in Plane Crash

A sightseeing plane with a pilot and four cruise ship passengers crashed in steep mountainous terrain, killing everyone inside, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard: 5 Killed in Plane Crash
The wreckage of the single-engine floatplane was spotted by aerial searchers in the area where an aircraft distress signal had been picked up, said Len Laurance, a spokesman for Taquan Air, the Ketchikan-based operator.

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. George Adams said Coast Guard helicopter crews at the heavily forested site were told by searchers at the scene that all aboard the de Havilland Beaver died.

Earlier reports put the plane at an elevation of 2,400 feet, but Adams said the wing portion was located higher than the fuselage, indicating that the aircraft slid down after impact.

The floatplane left Ketchikan shortly before 1:30 p.m. for a tour over Misty Fiords National Monument. It was reported missing after a Taquan dispatcher tried to contact the plane for 20 minutes without success, Laurance said.

The downed plane was located on land near the south arm of Rudyerd Bay about 180 miles northeast of Ketchikan.

The passengers on board were traveling on the Sun Princess, an 856-foot ship with Princess Cruises that was on the second day of a seven-day roundtrip cruise from Seattle. The vessel left Ketchikan two hours after its scheduled departure of 4:30 p.m.

The names of the pilot and passengers were not immediately released.

The cruise ship company has cut off Taquan Air tours at this time, Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson said in a prepared statement. Princess also notified the families of the passengers.

AP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2007, 09:17
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