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Plane crash in canal injures four Alaska residents

Rescue personnel were called after a plane crash in an Alaska waterway. Four people were on board, and all were saved thanks to mayday calls from the pilot alerting the Federal Aviation Administration that the engine of the plane had died en route to its destination. All four were injured in the plane crash and were taken to medical facilities for treatment.

A little over halfway into the flight, the FAA received the pilot's distress call and requested support from the U.S. Coast Guard. The pilot and three passengers swam through 5-foot waves with winds at 28 mph to reach the shore of the canal where the plane eventually completely sank. A Coast Guard helicopter picked up three of the passengers, while a touring helicopter retrieved the fourth. After treatment, three passengers were released, but the fourth was transferred to an intensive care unit and listed as being in critical condition.

An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board was assigned to research the details of the crash. He stated that the NTSB is not responsible for recovering the plane from the canal, and, unless the owner decides to salvage the plane, his investigation will consist of interviews to try to identify the issues that led to the engine failure, examinations of the plane's maintenance records and the flight history of the pilot. Should the owner retrieve the plane, the investigator will be able to conduct a more thorough analysis.

The plane is privately owned, but the pilot was not specified in a report as being the owner. Although the pilot and one of the passengers had the same last name, it is also not known if or how the four passengers were related. If the final report from the NTSB investigator shows the pilot was not at fault for the plane crash, these Alaska residents may want to consider filing a lawsuit against those believed to be responsible if it is determined that negligence was to blame for the crash.

Source: alaskapublic.org, "4 plane crash survivors swam to shore through 5-foot seas", Jillian Rogers, Nov. 4, 2015

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