Fatalities reported as planes collide in midair over Alaska

Multiple fatalities in Alaska midair plane collision involving cruise ship passengers

Multiple fatalities in Alaska midair plane collision involving cruise ship passengers

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.

Ten other people were injured, one critically, and one person is still missing.

"From what's been reported, 10 people are said to be on the beach nearby with injuries, and we are still searching for the rest", Coastguard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said.

Princess Cruises confirms to CityNews Vancouver both planes were carrying guests from Royal Princess, which is now sailing a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise that departed Vancouver on Saturday, May 11th for Anchorage.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that two planes collided under unknown circumstances, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The collision occurred just after 1 p.m. PT.

Eleven people were inside Taquan Air's single-engine de Havilland Otter DHC-3 when it went down.

Mischa Chernick, of PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, confirmed ten patients had been admitted to the hospital.

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There were reportedly five people on board the Beaver and 11 on the Otter.

The passengers were off the cruise ship Royal Princess were on sightseeing flights, one which was operated by Taquan Air. "Princess Cruises is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved", said the company. The Beaver was on an independent tour.

Ketchikan is approximately 140 kilometres northwest of Prince Rupert, B.C., part of a larger borough that numbers some 13,000 people.

Multiple posts on Facebook indicated that at least one of the floatplanes was a part of a guided tour, in which several cruise ship passengers were participating.

The local tourism authority says over one million passengers passed through the town in 2018. However, Rios said that in his three years working here, this is a unique situation: The group has not recently seen two planes go down in the same area around the same time.

Cindy Cicchetti, a Royal Princess passenger, said the ship captain announced that two planes were in an accident Monday.

Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board in Alaska confirmed that he could only provide "sketchy details" but that the agency is sending a team to investigate the crash sites. Global Affairs Canada did not immediately respond to an email from CBC News.

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