News 15 may — 19:29

Focus turns to investigation in deadly Alaska mid-air crash

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Two sightseeing planes that crashed in Alaska collided at about the 3,300-foot (1,006-meter) level, the National Transportation Safety Board announced shortly after an elite team arrived Tuesday from Washington, D.C., to investigate the crash, Associated press reports.

The two planes collided in mid-air Monday, killing six people, the Coast Guard said.

The larger plane, a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 with 10 passengers and the pilot, had descended from 3,800 feet (1158 meters) feet and collided with a smaller de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, carrying four passengers from the same cruise ship, the Royal Princess, and the pilot.

The federal investigation into the cause of the crash could take months, but a preliminary report is expected to be released within two weeks, said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the NTSB.

Names have not been released for those killed or injured. However, Princess Cruises said all were Americans except for two passengers who had been missing and were from Canada and Australia.

Coast Guard Lt. Brian Dykens said Tuesday evening that his agency and the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad found two bodies near the crash site of the smaller plane involved in the collision, a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.

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