Alaska State Authorities identified victims of sightseeing Alaska plane crash

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Six victims of sightseeing Alaska plane crash have been identified by the authorities

  • Mark Henderson,69, resident of Napa, California
  • Jacquelyn Komplin, 60, resident of Napa, California
  • Andrea McArthur, 55, resident of Woodstock Georgia
  • Rachel McArthur, 20, resident of Woodstock Georgia
  • Janet Kroll,77, of Mount Prospect, Illinois
  • Rolf Lanzendorfer of Cle Elum, Washington (Pilot)

The crash happened in Juneau, Alaska while the six were heading back to Ketchikan from Misty Fjords National Monument on Thursday.

All five passengers were on an excursion off the Holland America Line cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam. Ketchikan is a popular stop for cruise ships visiting Alaska, and cruise ship passengers can take various sightseeing excursions such as glacier valleys, snow-capped peaks and lakes in the wilderness area while in port.

The plane’s emergency beacon was activated about 11:20 a.m. Thursday when it crashed near the monument, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A helicopter company reported seeing wreckage on a ridgeline in the search area, and Coast Guard crew members found the wreckage around 2:40 p.m. A Coast Guard helicopter lowered two rescue swimmers to the site, and they reported no survivors, the agency said.

Poor weather and deteriorating visibility hampered early efforts to recover the bodies. Alaska State Troopers and members of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad made it to the crash site Saturday afternoon through a chartered Temsco helicopter.

According to the troopers, the bodies of the six victims were taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage.

The crash was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The wreckage was in a rugged, steep area that is heavily forested, at 1,800 to 2,000 feet “up on the side of a mountain,” said Clint Johnson, chief of the agency’s Alaska region. The site is about 12 miles northeast of Ketchikan, Johnson added.