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5/14/2019
Search resumes for two missing passengers

By Daily News Staff

and The Associated Press

The search for two individuals who remain missing after Monday afternoon's incident involving two floatplanes resumed at 6 a.m. Tuesday, according to information from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.

The missing passengers were among the five people aboard a de Havilland Beaver operated by Ketchikan-based Mountain Air that crashed in the Mahoney Creek area of George Inlet, according to a borough statement issued at 7:17 a.m. Tuesday.

The debris field from the Beaver covers an area of approximatively 1,000 feet by 2,600 feet, about 500 feet of which are on land, according to the statement. The Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad is anticipated to conduct dive operations at the site.

According to U.S. Coast Guard, three of the five people aboard the Beaver were confirmed deceased on Monday.

A total of 11 people were aboard the de Havilland Otter operated by Taquan Air, which went down in the Coon Cove area of George Inlet about 1.5 miles from the Beaver.

Ten of those people were rescued and taken to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.

The other individual who was aboard the Otter was found deceased Monday evening, according to borough information.

The names of the deceased have not been released.

 At least four people from the Otter were medevaced Monday night to the Lower 48 for further medical care.

Those four are at Harborview Medical Center.

“Injuries range from fractures to ribs, pelvis, arm and spine,” according to Susan Gregg, director of media relations for the University of Washington Medicine Marketing & Communications.

 The individuals in Harborview's care include a 67-year-old male in intensive care in serious condition, according to Gregg. A 63-year-old female, 61-year-old female and a 61-year-old male are in satisfactory condition.

In this morning's borough statement, Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor David Landis said “Our community is heartbroken over this tragedy and its devastating impact on so many families.

“There has been a tremendous outpouring of compassion and support from everywhere in the community, and we offer sincere gratitude to all those who are responding to the crashes,” Landis said.

A team of federal airplane accident investigators was expected to arrive in Alaska on Tuesday.

The Washington, D.C.-based investigative team from the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive in Ketchikan Tuesday afternoon, agency spokesman Peter Knudson said. He said board member Jennifer Homendy also is traveling with the so-called "Go Team," which investigates major accidents.

The floatplanes collided under unknown circumstances, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said in an email to The Associated Press.

Canadian officials said Tuesday that a Canadian was among the dead. Global Affairs Canada expressed condolences but did not identify the person because of privacy reasons, the government department said in a statement.

The passengers aboard the planes were from the cruise ship Royal Princess.