A float plane carrying guests of a fishing lodge and guides crashed near a lake in southwest Alaska Tuesday morning, killing three and injuring up to seven others.
The three people killed are all visitors from out of state, Alaska State Troopers reported. Their identities will not be disclosed until authorities have been able to notify their families.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records show that the de Havilland DHC-3 Turbine Otter airplane belonged to the Rainbow King Lodge in Iliamna, Alaska, about 175 miles southwest of Anchorage. KTUU Channel 2 said its attempts to contact the California-based owner of the lodge were unsuccessful.
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the airplane crashed on takeoff from East Wind Lake, about one mile north of the fishing lodge in Iliamna. The airplane went down in some trees near the lake, various reports state. Local residents assisted first responders in the relief effort, which started in the dark early morning hours around 6:30.
Five of the airplane’s 10 occupants were initially taken by helicopter to a clinic in Iliamna, then to an Anchorage hospital to receive treatment for their injuries. Two of the airplane’s occupants told rescuers that they were well enough to stay on the scene and help, Alaska Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton told the Alaska Dispatch News. The three other occupants were dead on the scene.
Clint Johnson, Alaska region chief for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told Channel 2 News that the agency was sending two investigators to the scene.
The crash is the second crash of a DHC-3 Otter in Alaska this summer. In late June, another DHC-3 Otter airplane operated by Promech Air crashed near Ketchikan, Alaska, killing eight Holland America cruise ship passengers and the pilot.
In August 2010, another Otter airplane crashed in Alaska, killing former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and four others.