LATEST: 2 still missing, 4 dead in sightseeing float plane collision

Published: May. 13, 2019 at 2:49 PM AKDT
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7:55 a.m.

Authorities say four of the 10 people injured after two sightseeing floatplanes collided in midair near the Alaska town of Ketchikan were flown to a Seattle hospital for treatment.

Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg says their injuries include “fractures to ribs, pelvis, arm and spine.”

Gregg said Tuesday morning that a 67-year-old man is in serious condition in intensive care. She says the three other patients are two women and a man in their 60s and that they are in satisfactory condition.

In Alaska, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center spokesman Marty West says the other six patients are in good or fair condition.


7 a.m.

Officials have confirmed that a Canadian is among four people who were killed in Alaska when two floatplanes carrying cruise ship passengers collided in midair.

Global Affairs Canada said in an emailed statement Tuesday that the name and hometown of the victim is not being made public for privacy reasons.

The Canadian government department expressed condolences to relatives of the victim.

A team of federal airplane accident investigators is expected to arrive in Alaska Tuesday to probe the cause of the crash.

Passengers from the cruise ship Royal Princess were on the sightseeing flights.


6 a.m.

A team of federal airplane accident investigators is expected to arrive in Alaska to investigate the cause of a midair collision between two sightseeing planes that killed at least four people.

The Coast Guard says the four died when the floatplanes carrying cruise ship tourists collided Monday near the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan, the Coast Guard said. Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios also says two others are missing.

The Washington, D.C.-based investigative team from the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive in Ketchikan Tuesday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the floatplanes collided under unknown circumstances. Floatplanes have pontoons mounted under their fuselages so they can land on water.

The passengers from the cruise ship Royal Princess were on sightseeing flights.

UPDATE as of 10:40PM 5/13/19: Coast Guard confirms the death of another individual bringing the total deceased to four and the total missing to two.

UPDATE 5:00PM 5/13/19:

The Coast Guard, partner agencies and good Samaritans continue to respond to the report of two downed aircraft and are searching for three people in the vicinity of George Inlet near Ketchikan, Alaska, Monday.

Ten people were rescued and are receiving medical care, the extent of their injuries are unknown. Three people are confirmed deceased.

The aircraft involved were a Beaver float plane and an Otter float plane.

The Coast Guard is searching with the cutter Bailey Barco, an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, a HC-130 from Kodiak is flying in relief crews from Sitka and two Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Mediums.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau is actively coordinating the search with the following agencies:

U.S. Forest Service

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Ketchikan Fire Department

Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad

Alaska State Troopers

TEMSCO Aviation

"In a remote area such as this, given our limited resources, we rely on our partner agencies and appreciate the support that 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 Alaska is immense and our thoughts are with the community here."

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the incident.

Preliminary reports to the Coast Guard indicate that this was a mid-air collision between the two planes.

Per the AP a passenger on the Royal Princess cruise ship says 14 people on the two floatplanes that crashed in mid-air Monday in Alaska were cruise passengers.

Cindy Cicchetti tells The Associated Press that the ship captain announced that two planes were in an accident Monday and said the conditions of the passengers wasn’t immediately known.

Cicchetti says the ship is not leaving as scheduled and there weren’t any details as to how the accident will affect the rest of the trip.

The circumstances of why the aircraft went down are not currently known.

There were 11 people on one plane and 5 on the other.

Ten people are receiving medical care but their conditions are unknown.

Three people are currently unaccounted for, and search and rescue efforts are ongoing.

As this is a developing story, we will report information as we receive it.

UPDATE 3:44PM 5/13/19:

11 people were on one plane and 5 people were on the other. 10 people are being treated for injuries but 6 people are still unaccounted for.

According to sources within the coast guard search and rescue is still on going and people are being rescued out of the water.


— The Coast Guard, partner agencies and good Samaritans are responding to the report of two downed aircrafts in the vicinity of George Inlet near Ketchikan, Alaska, Monday.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and two 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan.

We are currently unaware of the circumstances of why the aircrafts went down.

The number of people aboard the aircrafts is unconfirmed.

Ten people are accounted for but their conditions are unknown.

This is a developing case and we will update as we learn more.

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