Five dead after planes carrying cruise ship passengers collide

At least 6 unaccounted for after 2 Alaska floatplanes go down, Coast Guard says

One plane, a de Havilland Otter seaplane operated by Taquan Air, was carrying 10 guests from the cruise ship as well as a pilot, returning from a tour of the nearby Misty Fjords National Monument. He added that the 10 injured were from the first plane and the 11th person was among the missing.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which launched a MH-60 Seahawk helicopter and two 45 foot response boats to the crash site, rescued nine guests from the downed Taquan Air floatplane, but one passenger is still missing.

The U.S Coast Guard has launched assets and now involved in the rescue and due to the vast size of the region partner agencies are also involved. As of yet, it is unsure as to what caused both planes to go down.

Initially reported by as three fatalities, the number has been revised up since the initial statement was made by Royal Princess Cruises describing an incident in which two sightseeing planes carrying 14 passengers collided.

The two aircraft went down in the George Inlet, in the south-east of the state, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios. A spokeswoman for the tourist flight company said Taquan has suspended operations while federal authorities investigate the deadly crash.

Princess said all those who died were on what was described as an "independent" air tour.

All 14 passengers were on sightseeing flights.

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The 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.

She said the ship was not leaving as scheduled and there weren't any details as to how the accident will affect the rest of the trip.

"In a remote area such as this, given our limited resources, we rely on our partner agencies and appreciate the support that good Samaritans have rendered to this point", Capt. Stephen White, Coast Guard Sector Juneau commander, said in a Coast Guard news release.

"We are deeply saddened to report this news and our thoughts are prayers are with those who lost their lives and the families impacted by today's accident", the company said in a statement, according to KOMO.

Weather conditions included high overcast skies with 9 miles per hour (14 kph) southeast winds.

While ten people miraculously survived the incident, at least five were killed and another one is still missing.

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