One killed, four rescued in Alaska plane crash

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 17, 2015 8:42 PM

By Steve Quinn

JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - One person was killed and four were rescued from rugged terrain in Alaska on Friday after a small plane crashed during a short flight from Juneau to a nearby island, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The plane went down 18 miles west of Juneau, the state capital, Coast Guard Petty Office Grant DeVuyst said.

One person was killed, he said, though it was not immediately known if it was a passenger or the pilot.

Search teams in a helicopter hoisted the four survivors from a mountainous area and transported them to a nearby hospital, he said. The extent of their injuries was not yet known.

Steep terrain and limited visibility kept helicopters from directly transporting crews to the crash site, DeVuyst said.

The plane was operated by Wings of Alaska and was making the 20-minute flight from Juneau to Hoonah, according to the carrier.

The Juneau Police Department said it received a 911 call on Friday afternoon from a person reporting to be involved in a plane crash.

The caller's name matched one of the five people listed as being onboard the missing Cessna 207, a single-engine aircraft, the police said in a statement.

Juneau police said several rescue teams were en route, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Alaska State Troopers and the Capital City Fire Rescue out of Juneau.

The National Weather Service reported light rain and fog in the area.

Wings has its headquarters in Juneau and operates flights to coastal communities in southeast Alaska.

In late June, a sightseeing plane crashed during a tour of the Misty Fjords area of southeast Alaska, killing all nine on board.

(Reporting by Steve Quinn; Editing by Eric M. Johnson, Sandra Maler, Victoria Cavaliere)