Cruise passengers killed as sightseeing planes collide

At least four people have been killed and another two are missing after two sightseeing seaplanes collided in mid-air in southeast Alaska.

Ten other passengers have been taken to hospital following the incident on Monday near the town of Ketchikan.

Eleven people were inside a single-engine de Havilland Otter DHC-3 operated by Taquan Air when it went down as it returned from Misty Fjords National Monument.

Three people who died were among the five on board the second plane, a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, according to the US coastguard.

It is unclear which plane carried the fourth victim.

All passengers were from the cruise ship Royal Princess.

Taquan Air, operator of the Otter, has suspended operations while federal authorities investigate the deadly crash.

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A company statement said: “We are devastated by today’s incident and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families.”

The Royal Princess had left Vancouver on 11 May and was due to arrive at Whittier in Alaska on 18 May.

Princess Cruises said in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives and the families of those impacted by today’s accident.

“Princess Cruises is extending its full support to travelling companions of the guests involved.”

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the cause of the crash is not yet known.

Weather conditions in the area on Monday included high overcast skies with 9mph southeast winds.

Source: SKY NEWS

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