Published: Tue, May 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Five dead after planes carrying cruise ship passengers collide

Five dead after planes carrying cruise ship passengers collide

In an update sent shortly before 6 p.m., Princess Cruises said all five people, the pilot onboard the second plane, have died. A source close to the investigation told CBS News that both planes are submerged in water and one is believed to be in a lake and the other is in the ocean. Ten others have been hospitalized in Ketchikan, one in critical condition.

One of the aircraft involved was a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver with five people aboard, and the other was a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 carrying 11 people, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said in an email message, citing information from local authorities. That group was returning from a flight-seeing tour of Misty Fjords when the crash occurred, Taquan said in a statement.

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.

Taquan Air says it has suspended all scheduled flights.

A file photo of the Royal Princess cruise ship.

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.

Weather conditions in the area on Monday included high overcast skies with 14 kilometres per hour southeast winds.

There were 11 people on one plane, and Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios says the 10 injured were from that plane, one critically. 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. Their conditions were not immediately known.

It is unknown if there is a connection between the two aircraft or if it's coincidental that they went down at the same time, near the same place.

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.

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