ALASKA (NEWS 1130) – The U.S. Coast Guard has recovered the bodies of the two people missing following a float plane crash in Alaska on Monday.
The death toll has now risen to six, including one Canadian.
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 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.
.@USCG has released photos from the scene of Monday’s mid-air float plane collision in Ketchikan, Alaska. They continue to search for two people still missing.
— NEWS 1130 (@NEWS1130) May 14, 2019
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