Alaska plane crashes short of runway, injuring four people

A plane crashed while attempting to land on a tree-lined Alaskan runway, injuring all four people on board, officials said Wednesday.

Three people seriously injured in Tuesday’s crash at Dry Bay airstrip have been taken to hospitals in Anchorage. A fourth person with minor injuries was treated in the nearby community of Yakutat in southeast Alaska, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The names of the injured were not immediately released.

The crash happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday as the Yakutat Coastal Airlines chartered flight attempted to land on the runway, said Clint Johnson, head of the Alaska branch of the National Transportation Safety Board. The flight had originated from Yakutat.

The single-engine de Havilland DHC-3 fixed-wing aircraft crashed just short of the runway in tree-covered terrain, Johnson said. The NTSB will investigate the cause of the crash.

The Dry Bay airstrip is about 30 miles southeast of Yakutat.

The Coast Guard was alerted to the crash by a distress beacon and by calls from the public.

A Coast Guard helicopter from Sitka arrived at the scene and took two people with “critical back problems” to Yakutat, the Coast Guard statement said. Another person with respiratory problems was taken to Yakutat by the police from that city.

The Coast Guard then flew all three of them in an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Kodiak to Anchorage for treatment.

Tanya Hutchins, who described herself as the owner of Yakutat Coastal Airlines, said she was unwilling to comment on the crash when reached by phone on Wednesday. Alaska plane crashes short of runway, injuring four people


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