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US 5 Holland America Cruise Guests Killed in Sightseeing Plane Crash in Alaska

15:40  24 october  2021
15:40  24 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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A pilot and five guests from the Holland America Line cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam were killed Thursday in a sightseeing plane crash in southeast Alaska, the Associated Press reported.

a large ship in the water: Five guests from the Holland America Line cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam were killed in a sightseeing plane crash, along with the plane's pilot, in Alaska. In this photo, the passenger cruise ship Koningsdam of the Holland America Line company is anchored on the outskirts of the Bahia de la Paz during a protest against cruise ships industry on May 8, 2021 in La Paz, Mexico. © Alfredo Martinez/Getty Images Five guests from the Holland America Line cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam were killed in a sightseeing plane crash, along with the plane's pilot, in Alaska. In this photo, the passenger cruise ship Koningsdam of the Holland America Line company is anchored on the outskirts of the Bahia de la Paz during a protest against cruise ships industry on May 8, 2021 in La Paz, Mexico.

The plane crashed in the Misty Fjords National Monument region at around 11:20 a.m., and its emergency alert beacon went off, according to the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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The plane's owner, Southeast Aviation, put out a statement saying it is working with first responders and agencies involved. "Our hearts are shattered at the loss of six people today. We are thinking of and grieving with the families of the five passengers and our dear friend and pilot aboard the aircraft," the statement said.

A Holland America Line statement said that the sightseeing plane excursion was offered by an independent tour operator and that counseling services will be made available to guests and crew.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

A helicopter company reported seeing wreckage on a ridgeline in the search area, and Coast Guard crew members found the wreckage around 2:40 p.m. A Coast Guard helicopter lowered two rescue swimmers to the site, and they reported no survivors, the agency said.

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The identities of those killed in the crash were not immediately released. The Alaska State Troopers and volunteers from the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad will coordinate recovery efforts Thursday and Friday.

"We are cooperating with the first responders and agencies involved, including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board and Alaska State Troopers," Southeast Aviation said.

The cruise ship stopped in Ketchikan on Thursday and delayed its afternoon departure after the plane crash.

"The float plane excursion was offered by an independent tour operator and not sold by Holland America Line," the cruise line's statement said.

Ketchikan is a popular stop for cruise ships visiting Alaska, and cruise ship passengers can take various sightseeing excursions while in port. Popular among them are small plane flights to Misty Fjords National Monument, where visitors can see glacier valleys, snow-capped peaks and lakes in the wilderness area.

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In 2019, two sightseeing planes collided in midair, killing six of the 16 people on board the two planes.

Southeast Aviation on its website says it provides sightseeing tours to Misty Fjords National Monument and bear-viewing sites, along with air charters to other communities in southeast Alaska.

The Coast Guard was told by the plane's operator that five passengers and a pilot were on board, Chief Petty Officer Kip said.

Wadlow did not have details on when the plane took off. Weather conditions were a cloud ceiling of 900 feet with mist and light rain. Visibility was 2 miles and winds were 8 mph, the Coast Guard said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a crew to investigate the crash. The team is expected to arrive in Alaska on Friday. The FAA is also investigating.

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