Four people were pronounced dead and two more missing yesterday, after two float planes carrying cruise ship passengers collided head-on in midair near Ketchikan, Alaska.
One of the flights was operated by Taquan Air, and was carrying 10 passengers and the pilot at the time of the crash. The other flight was operated by an as-yet-unidentified operator and was carrying four passengers. CNN reports that the flights were sold by Princess Cruises.
“We are deeply saddened to report this news and our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives and the families impacted by today’s accident,” Princess announced in a statement.
The U.S. Coast Guard was called to help rescue the survivors, and sent an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and two 45-foot rescue boats to the scene, reports the Washington Post. The rescue effort was hampered by the remoteness of the wilderness, but was aided by Good Samaritans who assisted in the effort. “In a remote area such as this, given our limited resources, we rely on our partner agencies and appreciate the support that good Samaritans have rendered to this point,” Capt. Stephen White, the commander of the Juneau sector said in a statement.
The Post also reports that yesterday’s crash was the second recent incident involving Taquan. In July 2018, one of the company’s planes was involved in a crash with 11 people on board. Everyone aboard survived.