All nine people aboard a small tourist plane have been killed after it crashed into a cliff southeast Alaska, US police say.
The single-engine DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter turboprop was carrying eight passengers and a pilot when it crashed against the granite rock face of a cliff on Thursday afternoon and went down in unknown circumstances, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email to AP.
The plane that was reported to be part of Holland America Line was carrying the tourists from a cruise ship.
“We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the plane and their families,” the cruise line said in a statement according to the Alaska Dispatch News.
A tour helicopter spotted the plane’s wreckage some 800 feet (a quarter of a kilometer) above a lake in the Misty Fjords wilderness area, police said. The fjords are surrounded by lush forests and nearly vertical rock faces.
Emergency crews were able to reach the plane and confirm the fatalities, but rain and wind prevented them from continuing the recovery efforts on Thursday night.
“Due to inclement weather, the body recovery effort will not be attempted until tomorrow,” said Megan Peters from Alaska’s Department of Public Safety.
There was no indication of why the plane crashed.