BREAKING: Ten killed in fiery charter plane crash in Alaska
By Associated Press Reporter PUBLISHED: 22:39 EST, 7 July 2013 |
Ten people have died after a chartered air taxi crashed and burst into flames at a remote municipal airport in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.
The crash of the single-engine de Havilland DHC-3 Otter Air Taxi claimed the life of the pilot and all nine passengers aboard.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are not sure whether the plane was landing or taking off when it went down at Soldotna Municipal Airport about 11.20am on Sunday.
This marks the second deadly airplane crash in two days – coming just 25 hours after an Asiana Airlines jetliner with 291 people aboard crashed and cart-wheeled off the runway at San Francisco International Airport. Two 16-year-old Chinese students died and more than 180 were injured.
Alaska State Troopers said the plane was chartered as an air taxi at the time of the crash.
For many Alaskans, flying across the state is common, exposing residents to a litany of hazards including treacherous mountain passes and volatile weather.
Alaska already has seen several plane crashes this year, including a June 28 crash that killed a pilot and two passengers on a commercial tour in the Alaska Range.
The Peninsula Clarion newspaper reports that the plane was being flown by Willy Rediske, the owner of Rediske Airlines – an air taxi and charter service.
The NTSB is sending a team to investigate the crash. NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said one local member of the team was at the scene Sunday evening.
Soldotna is 64 miles south of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. However, because of the circuitous highway required, the trip by car is nearly 150 miles.