Floatplanes Crash Off Alaska, 5 Dead, 1 missing, 10 in Hospital

Floatplanes Crash Off Alaska, 5 Dead, 1 missing, 10 in Hospital

The U.S. Coast Guard, partner agencies and volunteers are now looking for three missing people following reports of two floatplanes colliding around George Inlet near Ketchikan, Alaska.

Eleven passengers were on a de Havilland Otter DHC-3. Ten people have been taken to hospital with unspecified injuries. A spokesperson there said that one victim is in critical condition, three are in serious condition and six are in fair condition, according to CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA-TV. However, the reports from rescuers and local officials offered a different number, saying three died and two were missing from the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.

In June 2015, a pilot and eight passengers had died when a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter, operated by Promech Air Inc, crashed into mountainous terrain about 39km from Ketchikan.

The U.S Coast Guard has launched assets and now involved in the rescue and due to the vast size of the region partner agencies are also involved.

Helicopters and boats were deployed by the US Coast Guard for the search and rescue operation.

The cause of the collision remains unclear.

All 14 passengers on the two planes came from the cruise ship Royal Princess, which was on a seven-day trip from Vancouver, B.C., to Anchorage.

The US Coast Guard said three people were confirmed dead and that it was searching for three others, with help from the US Forest Service and Alaska state troopers.

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At least 10 people have been hospitalized after two floatplanes went down in the water near the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan.

A deHavilland Beaver, which Princess called an "independent" air tour, had five people onboard. "Princess Cruises is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved", Princess Cruises said in a statement.

Taquan Air says it has suspended all scheduled flights.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington DC are expected to arrive in Ketchikan later on Tuesday.

"We are devastated by todays incident and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families", Taquan Air said.

"We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the planes and their families", the cruise company said.

Weather conditions included high overcast skies with 9 miles per hour (14 kph) southeast winds.

One of the aircraft was carrying 10 people while the other had five passengers according to local authorities.

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