Two Alaskan floatplanes collided in mid-air Monday, killing at least three, injuring 10 and leaving three missing, authorities say.
The floatplanes, small planes that can land on water, were conducting separate tours sold through Royal Princess Cruises when they collided at 1:08 pm local time, according to a statement released by Princess Cruises.
The guests involved in the incident were part of a Voyage of the Glaciers cruise that left Vancouver on May 11 and was scheduled to arrive in Anchorage on May 18, the statement said. (RELATED: 40 Passengers, One Crew Member Killed Aboard Russian Flight)
An Otter floatplane, operated by Taquan Air and “returning from a Misty Fjords tour,” carried ten Princess Cruise guests and a pilot. The ten guests were rescued and treated for injuries while one was reported missing, officials say according to The New York Post. The second aircraft, a Beaver floatplane returning from an independent tour, carried four Princess Cruise guests and a pilot, three of whom were reported killed and two of whom were reported missing according to The New York Post.
“We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those onboard the plane and their families,” Royal Princess Cruises said in a statement. “Princess Cruises is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved.”
The Coast Guard said Monday in a statement that they were sending helicopters to aid in the search for missing passengers.
“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,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.
“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.”
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