At least 3 dead after sightseeing planes collide in Alaska

At least 3 dead after sightseeing planes collide in Alaska

Princess Cruises confirmed that both planes carried passengers from two Princess cruise ships.

Princess originally said Monday that five people were confirmed dead in the crash but appeared to back off that number in an emailed statement Tuesday morning. One is in critical condition, meaning life-threatening injuries paired with vital signs that are extremely unstable and not within normal limits.

In a statement, Taquan Air said it had suspended all flights.

Global Affairs Canada said in a statement that a Canadian citizen died in the crash but did not disclose any information about the victim.

Cindy Cicchetti, a passenger on the Royal Princess cruise ship told The Associated Press that the ship captain announced that two planes were in an accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigators are expected to arrive in the southeast Alaska town of Kethikan, close to where Monday's afternoon crash happened, an NTSB official said.

The two aircraft went down over water about 25 to 30 miles (40-48 km) northeast of Ketchikan, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios.

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Owyoung confirms that a pilot is among the five people dead. Ten were taken to a Ketchikan hospital. There were 11 people in one plane and five in the other.

The second, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver which was operated by a different tour company, had four passengers and a pilot on board. The Coast Guard could not state whether the crash was a mid-air collision or not. The National Transportation Safety Board is to launch an investigation and do not that this is developing news with ongoing new details being released.

According to the FAA, the aircraft "collided in mid-air under unknown circumstances". Preliminary reports to the Coast Guard indicate that this was a mid-air collision between the two planes.

Multiple tour companies offer rides through the fjords around Ketchikan, in the southeasternmost part of Alaska, many of which include a water landing in a floatplane.

Seaplane flights over the Alaskan wilderness are popular with tourists and cruise passengers at this time of the year. The Otter was on the other side of the inlet, with 10 people on shore nearby.

Rios says it's not immediately clear if the planes crashed or had anything to do with each other going down Monday.

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