Five dead after two planes carrying cruise ship passengers collide mid-air

2 Floatplanes Crash Off Alaska 5 Dead 1 missing 10 in Hospital Reports

The other plane was operated by Mountain Air Service of Ketchikan, and the four booked the flight independent of the cruise ship, Princess Cruises said.

Royal Princess is now sailing a 7-night Alaska cruise which departed Vancouver, Canada on May 11, 2019. Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said those people were unaccounted for.

A Coast Guard helicopter searches for an Australian and a Canadian, who were initially missing.

This May 13, 2019 photo provided by Ryan Sinkey, shows a Coast Guard Station Ketchikan response boat crew searching for survivors from a downed floatplane in the vicinity of George Inlet near Ketchikan, Alaska.

That group was returning from a sightseeing tour of Misty Fjords when the crash occurred, Taquan said in a statement.

Ten people with injuries from the incident were taken to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, according to hospital spokeswoman Mischa Chernick.

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.

Cindy Cicchetti told The Associated Press that the ship captain announced that two planes were in an accident on Monday and said the conditions of the passengers wasn't immediately known.

Taquan Air, a regional airline flying one of the planes, canceled all flights while the crash is being investigated.

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Eleven people were inside Taquan's single-engine de Havilland Otter DHC-3 when it went down as it returned from Misty Fjords National Monument, which is part of the Tongass National Forest, the nation's largest.

"We are devastated by today's incident and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families", Taquan Air said.

"Our focus is on assisting these passengers, the pilot, our staff, their families and loved ones, and first responders."

The US Coast Guard confirmed on Tuesday one of four people killed was an Australian but gave no other details. A de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver and a de-Havilland Otter DHC-3 "collided in mid-air under unknown circumstances", the FAA told ABC News.

A preliminary report by the ATSB found there were no obvious mechanical defects or fuel contamination on the aircraft, which was up-to-date with maintenance checks and flown by a well-qualified pilot, Canadian-born Gareth Morgan, 44.

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

A Washington, D.C. -based investigative team from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to arrive in Ketchikan Tuesday afternoon, agency spokesman Peter Knudson said.

The NTSB later determined that pilot error and lack of a formal safety programme were behind the crash.

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