Richmond woman identified as lone Canadian victim of Alaska float plane collision

May 15 2019, 1:36 pm

A Richmond, BC woman has been identified as the lone Canadian among five who died following a mid-air collision involving two float planes in Alaska on Monday.

Alaska State Troopers named 37-year-old Elsa Wilk as the Canadian victim of the crash, which killed six people.

One victim was from Australia and the remainder, including the pilot, were from the US.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and loved ones of the Canadian citizen who died in Alaska,” a spokesperson from Global Affairs Canada said in an earlier statement to Daily Hive.

“Canadian consular officials in Seattle are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and stand ready to provide consular assistance as required.”

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The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the collision, which happened around 1 pm local time.

The US Coast Guard says the incident involved a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver float plane with five people onboard and de Havilland DHC-3 Otter float plane with 11 people onboard.

According to Princess Cruises, one plane operated by Taquan Air was flying a shore excursion sold through its cruise company. The flight was returning from a “Misty Fjords tour” and had passengers from Royal Princess and a pilot.

The second floatplane, which was also involved in the crash, was carrying guests from the Royal Princess on a different tour.

“All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened by this tragic news and we are extending our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the travelling companions of the guests involved. We immediately activated our Princess Care Team employees in the region and sent additional team members to Ketchikan overnight to assist the families impacted,” said Brian O’Connor, a spokesman for Princess Cruises.

In an update released on May 15, the US Coast Guard confirmed that 10 people were rescued from the crash. Search teams recovered two bodies Tuesday night, bringing the total of the deceased to six.

“We have been in regular contact with the family members throughout our search efforts,” said US Coast Guard Captain Stephen White, in a statement.

“This is not the outcome we hoped for and extend our deepest sympathies during this very difficult time.”

The Royal Princess cruise is currently sailing on a seven-day ‘Voyage of the Glaciers’ cruise that departed from Vancouver on May 11.

It’s scheduled to arrive in Anchorage on May 18.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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