5 dead, 1 missing after midair floatplane collision in Alaska

Five people are dead after two floatplanes collided in midair Monday near the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan, injuring 10 other people, one critically.

One person is still missing.

The latest information was provided in a statement by Princess Cruises, citing the U.S. Coast Guard.

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

Eleven passengers were on a de Havilland Otter DHC-3. Ten of those passengers were taken to a Ketchikan hospital, one is still missing. 

One patient was listed in critical condition, and the others were in fair or good condition, according to Mischa Chernick, a spokeswoman for PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.

Five people were aboard the other plane, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver. Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said those people were unaccounted for.

Ketchikan is approximately 140 kilometres northwest of Prince Rupert, B.C., as the crow flies.

A passenger on the Royal Princess cruise ship told the AP that 14 people on the downed floatplanes were cruise passengers.

Cindy Cicchetti said the ship captain announced that two planes were in an accident Monday. She said the ship is not leaving as scheduled and there weren’t any details as to how the accident will affect the rest of the trip.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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

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