ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Six people were killed when a plane went down in southeastern Alaska on Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed.
Five of the passengers on the plane, which went down near Ketchikan, were passengers from a Holland America Line cruise ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam, docked in the town, KTUU reported. The pilot was also killed, the television station reported.
The float plane trip was offered by an independent tour operator, and not sold by the cruise line, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, U. S. Forest Service, and Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad members reached the site of the plane, a de Havilland Beaver, KTOO reported. The aircraft was found eight miles northeast of Ketchikan, according to the Coast Guard.
A helicopter located the plane’s wreckage at 2:37 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Two rescue swimmers were unable to find survivors, according to the Coast Guard.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims and with our guests and team members who are affected by this tragedy,” Holland America Line said in a statement.
Authorities received an emergency position indicating a radio beacon alert at 11:20 a.m., Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow told KTUU. The alert went off in the area of the Misty Fjords National Monument wilderness area, according to a Coast Guard news release.
The Coast Guard said the plane was registered to Southeast Aviation LLC in Ketchikan. Wadlow said the Coast Guard contacted the parent company, which confirmed six people were aboard, KTUU reported.
A representative at the company declined to comment when reached Thursday afternoon, the Daily News reported.
The cruise ship left Seattle on Saturday for a seven-day excursion in Alaska, Holland America Line said in a statement.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, according to KTUU.
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