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Richmond woman among six killed in Alaska float plane crash

Last Updated May 15, 2019 at 6:51 pm PDT


The U.S. Coast Guard says it recovered the bodies of two people missing, near the crash site of the smaller plane

Four of the injured in mid-air float plane collision released from hospital; one person still in serious condition

The NTSB says one of the float planes involved in crash had descended in altitude

ALASKA (NEWS 1130) – A 37-year-old Richmond woman has been identified as one of the six people killed when two float planes crashed into each other near Ketchikan on Monday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Elsa Wilk was identified by police a few hours after the U.S. Coast Guard announced they had recovered two additional bodies. Four of the victims, including the pilot, are identified as being from the United States, while another was from Australia.

Coast Guard Lt. Brian Dykens says his agency and the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad found the bodies near the crash site of the smaller plane involved in the collision, a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.

10 others were taken to hospital after two float planes collided mid-air, crashing into the water in Ketchickan. Four of the injured were flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle while three others, taken to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, have since been released.

Global Affairs Canada said Tuesday morning that the only Canadian involved in the crash is dead. It said the name and hometown of the victim is not being released by that agency for privacy reasons.

The U.S. Coast Guard and search and rescue volunteers had been searching for the two missing people for over 12 hours and as recently as Tuesday evening, still held out hope they would find them alive.

RELATED: Canadian dead after Alaska float planes collide, search continues for two missing people

Both planes were carrying guests from Royal Princess, which is currently sailing a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise that departed Vancouver on Saturday, May 11 for Anchorage, Alaska.

One of the planes, the a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver on an independent tour, had four guests on board, plus a pilot. The second plane, a single-engine de Havilland Otter DHC-3, was on a Misty Fjords shore excursion sold through Princess Cruises and operated by Taquan Air and had ten cruise ship guests on board, plus a pilot.

One of the pilots are among the dead, and has been identified as Randy Sullivan, who was from Ketchikan.

The National Transportation Safety Board has assumed control of the investigation after arriving on Tuesday and has revealed one of the planes had descended in altitude when it collided with the other aircraft.

Peter Knudson with the NTSB says the larger of the planes, the single-engine de Havilland Otter operated by Taquan Air, was initially travelling at an altitude of about 3,800 feet. The plane had descended to an altitude of 3,200 to 3,300 feet when it collided with the single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, as both headed to Ketchikan. The Beaver had been flying at a 3,300-foot altitude.

One of the injured people, a 67-year-old man who was flown to Seattle, remains in serious condition in intensive care.

– With files from the Associated Press. Peter Wagner contributed to this report.