6 Dead in Sightseeing Plane Crash Near Alaska’s Misty Fjords National Monument

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Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad personnel disembark from a Hughes 369D helicopter on Thursday at Temsco Helicopters Inc. in Ketchikan, Alaska. | Photo courtesy of Dustin Safranek/Ketchikan Daily News

A small sightseeing plane crashed on Thursday in Southeast Alaska, killing all six people on board, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the plane’s emergency alert beacon was activated around 11:20 a.m. when the plane crashed in the area of Misty Fjords National Monument, near Ketchikan.

A local helicopter company reported seeing wreckage and smoke on a ridgeline in the search area, which led Coast Guard crew members to find the wreckage around 2:40 p.m. A Coast Guard helicopter then lowered two rescue swimmers to the crash site and they reported no survivors, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The sightseeing plane which killed six crashed near Misty Fjords National Monument, shown here. | Photo courtesy of Adventure Bound Alaska 

The identities of those killed in the crash have yet to be released. The Associated Press reports that Alaska State Troopers and volunteers from the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad are currently coordinating recovery efforts for the wreckage and its victims.

The plane was owned by Southeast Aviation LLC, which said in a statement regarding the horrific incident: 

“Our hearts are shattered at the loss of six people today. We are thinking of and grieving with the families of the five passengers and our dear friend and pilot aboard the aircraft. We are cooperating with the first responders and agencies involved, including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board, and Alaska State Troopers.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the crash, the AP reports. 

Ketchikan, Alaska. | Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps

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