The US Coast Guard is searching for three people who are unaccounted for after two floatplanes carrying passengers from a cruise excursion collided mid-air in Alaska and killed three others.
The two planes carried 14 passengers from a seven-day roundtrip cruise out of Vancouver, according to a statement Monday from Royal Princess Cruises. Both planes collided mid-air about eight nautical miles from Ketchikan, Alaska, at the southeastern end of the state at about 1 pm local time.
"We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the planes and their families," the cruise company said. "Princess Cruises is extending its full support to travelling companions of the guests involved."
An Otter floatplane with 11 people onboard was returning from a Misty Fjords tour while a second Beaver floatplane carrying five people was on an independent tour.
Three of the people onboard the Beaver plane are dead, the Coast Guard confirmed to NBC News. The two others on the plane are among the missing.
The Coast Guard has dispatched helicopters and boats for search and rescue operations. The U.S. Forest Service and Alaska State Troopers have also responded to the scene.
Ten people involved in the crash were rescued by a passing ship named the Saint Innocent. Three of those rescued were in serious condition and one was critical, a local hospital told NBC News. The others were in fair condition.