Richmond woman among six killed in Alaska float plane crash

Ketchikan Alaska. The passenger was from one of two float planes reported down in George Inlet early Monday afternoon and

The Coast Guard says two more bodies have been recovered after two floatplanes collided in Alaska, bringing the death toll to six.

The Coast Guard said the 11th person on board that plane is missing.

Authorities say families of the victims have been notified, as have the Canadian and Australian Consulates.

It is believed that the planes - a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver (carrying four guests) and a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 (carrying 10 guests) - collided in mid-air, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, Anchorage Daily News reported. All the dead were identified late on Tuesday, and 14 of those on board the planes were American. No further information about the missing people was made available.

The planes crashed into the icy cold waters off a southeast Alaskan inlet near Ketchikan, a popular destination for cruise ships in Alaska.

"A second float plane was also involved in an incident and was carrying four guests from Royal Princess on an independent tour".

He said the area is en route to the Misty Fjords National Monument, a popular and active spot for sightseeing flights.

The National Transportation Safety Board has assumed control of the investigation after arriving on Tuesday and has revealed one of the planes had descended in altitude when it collided with the other aircraft.

The ship left Vancouver on May 11 and is scheduled to arrive in Anchorage on Saturday.

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Ten people survived but were injured in the collision, which took place over open water during daylight hours on Monday, the Coast Guard said.

The two aircraft had been carrying 16 passengers from the Royal Princess cruise ship when they crashed near Ketchikan around 1pm local time.

"In a remote area such as this, give our limited resources, we rely on our partner agencies and appreciate the support good Samaritans have rendered to this point", he said.

Taquan Air said the company has suspended operations while the crash is investigated.

The Otter plane, operated by Taquan Air, a regional airline based in Ketchikan, was flying a shore excursion with 10 passengers and a pilot aboard. The others were in fair condition.

The passengers from the cruise ship Royal Princess were on sightseeing flights.

USCG is searching with the cutter Bailey Barco, an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and two Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Mediums.

"We are devastated by this news and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families", the airline said in a statement.

The NTSB later determined that pilot error, the company's culture and lack of a formal safety program were among the causes of that crash.

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