Taylor Balkom/Ketchikan Daily News by means of AP
Friday, June 26, 2015|11:04 p.m.
JUNEAU, Alaska– A recuperation team on Friday reached a remote website in southeast Alaska where a sightseeing aircraft crashed, killing all 9 people aboard.
Chris John of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad stated the airplane was sitting at a high angle and three members from his company needed to secure it so they could securely work to recover the bodies.
8 cruise ship passengers and the pilot died when the DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter turboprop went down Thursday in Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation.
Authorities tentatively determined the victims as Hal Cheney, 71, and Mary Doucette, 59, of Lodi, California; Glenda Cambiaso, 31, and Hugo Cambiaso, 65, of North Potomac, Maryland; June Kranenburg, 73, and Leonard Kranenburg, 63, of Medford, Oregon; Margie Apodaca, 63, and Raymond Apodaca, 70, of Sparks, Nevada; and the pilot, Bryan Krill, 64 of Hope, Idaho.
Their remains will be taken to and favorably recognized at the state medical examiner’s workplace in Anchorage.
The airplane crashed on a cliff above a lake in steep, muddy and slippery surface, John stated. The fuselage was mostly intact however the wings and tail were separated or heavily warped, he said.
On Thursday, the Coast Guard got a report that the aircraft was overdue. An emergency locator transmitter triggered and a helicopter pilot later spotted the downed aircraft.
Wind and rain avoided any recovery Thursday. Winds were not a concern Friday however there was cloud cover.
A National Transport Security Board group was put together to investigate the crash. Plans were being made to take them to the site on Saturday, John stated.
Ketchikan-based airline Promech Air ran the coast excursion offered during Holland America Line. The 8 travelers were traveling on the Westerdam on a seven-day cruise that had left Seattle last Saturday.
“We are incredibly distressed by this scenario, and our ideas and prayers are with those onboard the airplane and their families,” Holland America said in a statement.
The airline company echoed those beliefs.
“There is absolutely nothing I can say that can reduce the discomfort and frustrating sense of loss that we and the loved ones of those affected are feeling,” Marcus Sessoms, president of Promech Air, said in a statement.
The ship left Ketchikan Thursday night and was expected back in Seattle on Saturday.
Promech’s web site markets tours of the more than 3,000-square-mile Misty Fjord National Monolith in its floatplanes.
“Towering granite cliffs, 1,000-foot waterfalls, lavish and remote valleys and tranquil crystalline lakes comprise this amazing landscape,” it states.