A Canadian was among at least four people killed when two sightseeing planes crashed in mid-air in Alaska, the federal government confirmed Tuesday as investigators began working to piece together the cause of the tragedy.
"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and loved ones of the Canadian citizen who died in Alaska", said a statement from Global Affairs.
The Coast Guard is leading the investigation into the collision, according to CNN. "Princess Cruises is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved", the company said.
The majority of them being cruise ship passengers from the Royal Princess which was docked in Ketchikan for the day on Monday, May 13.
Seaplanes have pontoons mounted under the fuselage so they can land on water.
The crash site, at Coon Cove about 300 miles (480 km) south of Alaska's capital, Juneau, lies near a tourist lodge that runs excursions to the nearby Misty Fjords National Monument.
One of the planes, operated by Taquan Air, was carrying 10 American passengers from the Royal Princess cruise ship and one pilot.
The passengers were from the cruise ship Royal Princess and were on sightseeing flights, one of which was operated by flightseeing company Taquan Air.
Three of those found dead were aboard the Beaver plane.
There were no cockpit voice recorders or flight data recorders on either of the two planes, Homendy also said during the news conference.
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One patient was listed in critical condition, and the others were in fair or good condition, according to Mischa Chernick, a spokeswoman for PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.
The Coast Guard had initially announced the death of four people on Monday, as authorities searched for two others who were missing.
Ten people were rescued and suffered injuries ranging from "arm fractures to ribs to spine to leg", hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg told the Daily News.
The Beaver appears to have broken apart in midair, according to Jerry Kiffer, duty incident commander of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad.
A spokeswoman for Taquan Air, operator of the Otter, said the company had suspended operations while federal authorities investigate the deadly crash.
"We are devastated by today's incident and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families", Taquan Air said.
It's not known how the planes collided.
A Washington, D.C. -based investigative team from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to arrive in Ketchikan Tuesday afternoon, agency spokesman Peter Knudson said.
It is investigating, along with the National Transportation Safety Board. The Coast Guard doesn't do recovery work. The Beaver had been flying at a 3,300-foot altitude.