Three die in Alaska crash of float plane on lake

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 15, 2015 5:41 PM

By Steve Quinn

JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - Three people died in the crash of a float plane during an attempted takeoff on Tuesday at a lake in Alaska, and seven others on the aircraft survived, officials said.

The de Havilland DHC-3 Turbine Otter on floats crashed at Eastwind Lake near the town of Iliamna, about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said in an email.

Kenitzer said 10 people were believed to be on board the aircraft.

Alaska state troopers said in a statement that the three people on the plane who died in the crash were from outside Alaska. They were not identified, pending notification of their next of kin.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Clint Johnson told Alaska Dispatch News that the people on the de Havilland were on a fishing trip and included guests and guides.

State troopers reached out to the Alaska Air National Guard to seek assistance in performing a rescue operation, said Air National Guard spokesman Staff Sergeant Edward Eagerton.

The Alaska Air National Guard dispatched an HC-130 aircraft, which flew through low clouds, rain and gray skies to reach the survivors, Eagerton said.

"In this case, weather and time was a factor,” Eagerton said.

Two of the seven survivors from the plane were healthy enough to stay in Iliamna at a clinic, and the five others were transported to Anchorage hospitals for treatment, he said.

The FAA and the NTSB will investigate the crash.

(Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney)