Nine Dead In Alaska Floatplane Crash

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(Updated)

The pilot and eight tourists aboard a floatplane on a sightseeing flight in southeast Alaska died when the aircraft crashed into rugged terrain Thursday, CNN reportedThe DeHavilland DHC-3T Otter was carrying cruise ship passengers to view the Misty Fjords National Monument, accessible only by floatplanes or boats, according to CNN. The plane crashed about 25 miles northeast of Ketchikan.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it has dispatched investigators to the site. The Alaska Dispatch News reported Friday that improving weather allowed crews to take a helicopter near the crash site amid steep, rocky terrain. Chris John of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad said the Otter lay in a “precarious” position on a slope about 800 feet above a lake and will have to be anchored with ropes and cables before recovery efforts could begin, the newspaper reported. The passengers were on a cruise on the MS Westerdamwhich started its trip in Seattle. The Otter, operated by Promech Air, was on a tour sold through the cruise line.