Plane crash reported near Dillingham, Alaska; 8 believed aboard

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Plane crash reported near Dillingham, Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska — Authorities said Tuesday that a plane believed to be carrying eight people has crashed in southwest Alaska.

Alaska National Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes said the Guard was called to the area about 20 miles north of Dillingham at about 7 p.m. Monday after a passing aircraft saw the wreckage.

Hayes says there are possible fatalities. State and federal officials say severe weather has hampered the rescue operation.

Hayes says about five good Samaritans were on scene early Tuesday helping the crash victims. He says he was told by Alaska State Troopers that there were “eight or nine” people on board, though a spokeswoman for the troopers, Megan Peters, refused to comment.

She says all the agency can say, for sure, is that a plane went down and crews were “aggressively” trying to reach the crash site but having difficulty doing so.

“I can’t go beyond, ‘We’re responding to a plane crash,’” she said.

The aircraft is a 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter registered to Anchorage-based communications company GCI, the Federal Aviation Administration told the Anchorage Daily News. A woman at the Regional Operations Center told The Associated Press all further information was pending notification of next of kin.

Dillingham is located in northern Bristol Bay, about 325 miles southwest of Anchorage.

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