A team of MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from the Coast Guard airport Sitka found the wreckage at 2:37 pm and shot down two rescue swimmers, who were pronounced dead, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
The identities of those killed in the crash were not immediately released, but authorities said six people, including the pilot, were on board.
The plane, a single-engine DeHaviland DHC-2 Beaver, took off from the Misty Fjords National Monument and crashed at 11:20 a.m. in a steep, mountainous area near Ketchikan, about 300 miles southeast of Genoa. The administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) told the Anchorage Daily News.
There was fog and light rain during the crash The Coast Guard said, With winds of up to 8 mph and visibility of two miles.
The five passengers on the flight were from the Holland America Line, New Amsterdam, the company said in a statement.
“We can confirm that the floating plane carrying five guests from New Amsterdam crashed in Ketchikan, and there are no survivors,” the company tweeted. “Holland America Line is an independent tour that does not sell. We have our thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of the victims.”
The Coast Guard, Alaska State Troops, U.S. Forest Service, and the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Team (KVRS) responded to the crashed plane and a helicopter saw the wreckage on a ledge, the Coast Guard said. The aircraft is owned by Southeast Aviation LLC.
Ketchikan is a popular stop for cruise ships to Alaska, where travelers can take a variety of cruises while in port.
Small airplanes are popular for the Misty Fjords National Monument, where visitors can see glacier valleys, snow-capped peaks and lakes in the woods.
In 2019, two viewing planes collided head-on near Ketchikan, killing six of the 16 people on board, the Daily News Report.
NTSB sends a team to investigate the crash and expects the team to arrive Friday. The FAA is investigating.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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