Five dead, one missing as floatplanes collide midair in Ketchikan, Alaska


Five people are dead and one is still missing after a collision between two float planes with 16 combined people onboard, according to a cruise line whose passengers are among those killed. One patient is in critical condition, and the others are in fair or good condition.

At this time, the U.S. Coast Guard and local search and rescue teams have "confirmed that nine of the guests have been rescued and are now receiving medical attention with the condition of one guest still unknown", Owyoung says.

The floatplanes collided under unknown circumstances, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said in an email to The Associated Press. Four were Royal Princess cruise passengers, and one was the pilot.

The passengers of both planes were on an expedition to shore from the cruise ship Royal Princess, according to a statement from the cruise line.

The Voyage of the Glaciers cruise was on a seven-day trip that departed Vancouver on May 11 and is scheduled to arrive in Anchorage on May 18, the company said.

The FAA said neither aircraft was under air traffic control of the crash.

Authorities are responding to a crash involving two float planes in an inlet near Ketchikan, a popular tourist city in Alaska.

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"Princess Cruises is extending its full support to travelling companions of the guests involved".

Rescue crews from the Coast Guard and partner agencies were searching for survivors.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which launched a MH-60 Seahawk helicopter and two 45 foot response boats to the crash site, rescued nine guests from the downed Taquan Air floatplane, but one passenger is still missing.

Weather conditions in the area on Monday included high overcast skies with 14 kilometres per hour southeast winds.

The fate of the other six people wasn't immediately known.

The Ketchikan Daily News reported injured passengers were being taken to a nearby lodge, where the local emergency medical services department was staging.