Canadian among 5 dead following midair float plane collision in Alaska – Daily Hive

Canadian among 5 dead following midair float plane collision in Alaska - Daily Hive
Canadian among dead in collision of Alaska floatplanes, Global Affairs says
VANCOUVER — Global Affairs Canada has confirmed one Canadian is among the four dead in a midair crash involving sightseeing planes in Alaska.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and loved ones of the Canadian citizen who died in Alaska," Global Affairs said in an email.

Cindy Cicchetti, a passenger on the Royal Princess cruise ship told the Associated Press that the ship captain announced that two planes were in an accident. She said the ship is not leaving as scheduled and there werent any details as to how the accident will affect the rest of the trip. The ship was scheduled to arrive in Anchorage on Saturday, May 18.

The United States Coast Guard says two floatplanes collided as they carried cruise ship tourists on sightseeing flights near the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan. Two were still missing Monday night.

Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios, a coast guard spokesman, said 10 survived and were being treated in a Ketchikan hospital.

All the survivors were listed in fair or good condition, said Marty West, a spokeswoman for the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.

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Its not known how the planes collided. A team of National Transportation Safety Board investigators was on its way from the Washington, D.C., to the crash site.

Video: At least 4 dead after two floatplanes collide midair over Alaska

Princess Cruises confirmed all the passengers on both planes were from the Royal Princess, which departed Vancouver on Saturday for a trip to Anchorage and was due to return to the port on May 25.

Cindy Cicchetti, a Royal Princess passenger, said the ship captain announced that two planes were in an accident Monday. She said the ship is not leaving as scheduled and there weren't any details as to how the accident will affect the rest of the trip.

Eleven people were in a Taquan Air single-engine de Havilland Otter DHC-3 when it went down as it returned from Misty Fjords National Monument, which is part of the Tongass National Forest, Rios said.

Ten people, plus one pilot, were on a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 operated by Taquan Air. Both the cruise company  and he rescuers say ten of the people on the Taquan Air flight were taken to a Ketchikan hospital, and one passenger was missing. 

Global Affairs says one Canadian among four killed in float plane crash in Alaska

The coast guard said three of those who died were among five aboard the second plane, a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.

Video: 2 sightseeing planes collide in Alaska

Its unclear which plane carried the fourth victim, whose body was recovered during a Monday night search, Rios said.

Video: 5 dead after Alaska floatplanes collide in mid-air near Ketchikan

Global Affairs Canada said in an email that Canadian consular officials in Seattle are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and stand ready to provide assistance as required.

In an update sent shortly before 6 p.m., Princess Cruises said all five people, including the pilot onboard the second plane died. That aircraft was a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, which was carrying cruise passengers on an independent sightseeing tour.

A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises said Tuesday that the company was working on an overnight rescue and recovery update from the coast guard and would provide an update as soon as possible.

According to Princess Cruises, which confirmed in a statement that its passengers were on board the two planes, the Royal Princess left Vancouver on Saturday and was set to arrive in Anchorage on May 18.

Emergency response crews transport an injured passenger to an ambulance at the George Inlet Lodge docks, Monday, May 13, 2019, in Ketchikan, Alaska. (Dustin Safranek/Ketchikan Daily News via AP)

Princess Cruises says five people are dead and several others are injured after two float planes carrying passengers from a ship that left Vancouver on the weekend collided in Alaska Monday afternoon.

At least one Canadian citizen was among the four people killed in the mid-air collision of two sightseeing planes over open water in Alaska during daylight hours Monday. 

Emergency response crews transport an injured passenger to an ambulance at the George Inlet Lodge docks, Monday, May 13, 2019, in Ketchikan, Alaska. The passenger was from one of two float planes reported down in George Inlet early Monday afternoon and was dropped off by a U.S. Coast Guard 45-foot response boat. (Dustin Safranek/Ketchikan Daily News via AP) ORG XMIT: AKKET112 Dustin Safranek / AP

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and loved ones of the Canadian citizen who died in Alaska," Guillaume Bérubé, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, said in a statement Tuesday. "Canadian consular officials in Seattle are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and stand ready to provide consular assistance as required.

“We are devastated by today’s incident and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families,” Taquan said in a statement. “At this time, we are in the midst of an active crisis response, and our focus is on assisting these passengers, the pilot, our staff, their families and loved ones, and first responders.”

"To protect the privacy of the individual concerned, further details on this case cannot be released."

The nationalities of the others aboard the planes — 14 passengers and two pilots — have not yet been confirmed.

Cindy Cicchetti, a passenger aboard the Royal Princess, told AP the ship captain announced that two planes were in an accident Monday. She said the ship is not leaving as scheduled and there weren’t any details as to how the accident will affect the rest of the trip.

U.S. federal investigators are due in Alaska on Tuesday to try to find out why they collided. National Transportation Safety Board investigators are expected to arrive in the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan, close to the scene of the afternoon crash, an NTSB official said.

"The U.N. Security Council resolutions the United States mentioned as one of the reasons for robbing our trade vessel equate to a violent infringement of the sovereignty of our country and we have been entirely rejecting them," the KCNA statement said. "The United States should carefully consider what kind of consequences their daylight robbery could bring to the political situation and should send back our vessel without hesitation."

The two aircraft went down over water about 40 to 48 kilometres northeast of Ketchikan, according to coast guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios.

Ten other people were injured, he said. Two are still reported missing and crews are still looking for them.

The scale of the alleged sabotage also remains unclear. A statement from Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom's two oil tankers, including one due to later carry crude to the U.S., sustained "significant damage." However, a report from Sky News Arabia, a satellite channel owned by an Abu Dhabi ruling family member, showed the allegedly targeted Saudi tanker Al Marzoqah afloat without any apparent damage.

Float planes collide carrying passengers on excursions from Royal Princess cruise ship in Alaska

All 14 passengers on both floatplanes were from the cruise ship Royal Princess, which was on a seven-day trip from Vancouver to Anchorage and operated by Princess Cruises.

However, the incident raises questions about maritime security in the UAE, home to Dubai's Jebel Ali port, the largest man-made deep-water harbour in the world that is also the U.S. Navy's busiest port of call outside of America. From the coast, AP journalists saw an Emirati coast guard vessel patrolling near the area of one of the Saudi ships in Fujairah, some 130 miles (210 kilometres) northeast of Dubai on the Gulf of Oman.

Princess Cruises issued a statement saying it was "deeply saddened to to report this news, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives and the families of those impacted by today's accident."

Three confirmed killed in mid-air seaplane crash in southeastern Alaska

Betty Hill, a passenger currently on the Royal Princess from California, said the news was announced to cruise passengers around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“The flight was returning from a Misty Fjords tour carrying 10 guests from Royal Princess and a pilot. The second float plane involved was operating an independent flight tour carrying four additional guests from Royal Princess along with a pilot.”

"The room turned completely silent. The response was somber. It was a very sad day," Hill said.  "My hopes and prayers that they find the missing person[s] and the injured make a speedy and complete recovery."

The California-based company said Tuesday the Canadian and an Australian had not been located after their single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver collided with a float plane carrying 11 people near Ketchikan.

Princess Cruises says the ship departed Ketchikan approximately 3.5 hours late and was scheduled to arrive in Juneau at approximately 9 a.m.

Global Affairs Canada said in an email that Canadian consular officials in Seattle were in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and stood ready to provide assistance as required.

The crash site, at Coon Cove about 480 kilometres south of Alaska's capital Juneau, lies near a tourist lodge that runs excursions to the nearby Misty Fjords National Monument.

One of the aircraft was a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver with five people aboard, and the other a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 carrying 11, Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Allen Kenitzer said.

Canadian citizen among those killed in float plane crash in Alaska

The Ketchikan-based operator of the larger plane, Taquan Air, said its pilot and nine passengers were rescued and receiving medical attention, but one passenger's fate was unknown. That group was returning from a flightseeing tour of Misty Fjords when the crash occurred, Taquan said.

Rios initially reported 10 survivors receiving medical care, with six other people from the two planes listed as unaccounted for. He later said four of the missing had been confirmed as dead.