Two Tourist Seaplanes Down Near Ketchikan


Image: CNBC

Ten people are injured and at least five dead in a midair collision of two seaplanes carrying tourists from a cruise ship near Ketchikan, Alaska. One passenger has not been found. All were passengers on a Royal Princess cruise out of Vancouver.

The aircraft were a DeHavilland Otter flown by Taquan Air and a Beaver floatplane on a separate sightseeing tour. The U.S. Coast Guard said that on Monday afternoon, “… there’s 10 people that are accounted for and they are receiving medical care. The extent of their injuries right now is unknown. We do know now that three people are confirmed deceased, and we are looking for three unaccounted for people right now.” CNBC is confirming the death of the fifth passenger.

“We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those onboard the planes and their families,” the cruise company said. “Princess Cruises is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved.”

Taquan Air said in a statement that it has suspended all flights and added, “We are devastated by today’s incident and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families. At this time, we are in the midst of an active crisis response, and our focus is on assisting these passengers, the pilot, our staff, their families and loved ones, and first responders.”

According to a statement by the Coast Guard, it is searching with the cutter Bailey Barco,an Air Station Sitka MH-60Jayhawk helicopter crew,an HC-130 from Kodiak is flying in relief crewsfrom Sitka and twoStation Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Mediums. “In a remote area such as this, given our limited resources, we rely on our partner agencies and appreciate the supportthat good Samaritans have rendered to this point,” said Capt. Stephen White, Coast Guard Sector Juneau commander.”With the loss of life in this case, we know that the impact to Alaskais immense andour thoughts are with the community here.”