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Federal probe launched into fatal collision of Alaska tourist planes

Christian Fernsby |
Federal investigators are due in Alaska on Tuesday to try to find out why two sightseeing planes collided in mid-air over open water during daylight hours, killing at least four tourists.

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The National Transportation Safety Board investigators are expected to arrive in the southeast Alaska town of Kethikan, near where Monday’s crash happened, during the afternoon, an NTSB official said.

The two aircraft went down over water about 25 to 30 miles (40-48 km) northeast of Ketchikan, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios.

Ten other people were injured in the collision, he said.

All 14 passengers on both planes were from the cruise ship Royal Princess, on a seven-day trip from Vancouver to Anchorage and operated by Princess Cruises, the Washington Post reported.

Broadcaster NBC said early on Tuesday that a fifth person had died and one remained missing. One person was critical and three were in a serious condition, it cited a medic at a local hospital as saying.

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