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Nine dead after sightseeing aeroplane crashes in Alaska

By AP Reporter

Published 27/06/2015

All nine people on board died when a DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter turboprop crashed in the US state of Alaska
All nine people on board died when a DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter turboprop crashed in the US state of Alaska

All nine people on board a sightseeing aeroplane died when it crashed in Alaska.

Clint Johnson, head of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska office, said stormy weather was preventing the recovery of bodies from a cliff about 20 miles north-east of Ketchikan.

Attempts to recover the bodies will resume today.

The plane was carrying eight cruise ship passengers and a pilot. It went missing yesterday afternoon and was found against the granite rock face of a cliff, 800 feet above Ella Lake.

Mr Johnson said: "We have nine fatalities."

He said it was too soon to know the circumstances of the crash, including whether the DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter turboprop flew into the cliff.

The NTSB was assembling a high-level team to investigate the crash, including three members from Alaska and at least two people from Washington, DC.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Lauren Steenson said the agency received a report around 2.15pm local time that the plane was overdue.

Troopers said an emergency locator transmitter activated in the Misty Fjords National Monument, and a helicopter pilot spotted the downed aircraft above Ella Lake, about 800 miles from Anchorage.

Promech Air, an airline based in Ketchikan, operated the shore excursion for the cruise ship company Holland America Line. The eight passengers were guests on the Westerdam, which is on a seven-day cruise that departed from Seattle on Saturday.

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