Authorities on Friday released the identities of a pilot and eight cruise ship passengers who were killed after their sightseeing plane crashed in southeast Alaska. The DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter turboprop went down Thursday in Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan.
The nine victims were reportedly identified 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. The eight passengers were from the Westerdam, on a seven-day cruise by the Holland America Line, and departed Seattle on June 20.
The remains of the victims were recovered Friday and were moved to a Coast Guard boat in a nearby bay, Alaska Dispatch News (ADN), a local news outlet, reported. The remains will reportedly be positively identified at the state medical examiner's office in Anchorage.
The Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad was reportedly working to stabilize the wreckage of the plane, which was sitting at a steep angle.
“It’s very treacherous,” Brice Banning, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator, said, according to ADN, adding that “the rescue squad is working to secure it on the hillside.”
Chris John of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad reportedly confirmed that rescuers successfully tied down the plane, which crashed on a cliff above a lake in steep, muddy and slippery terrain. He said that the fuselage was largely intact, but the plane’s wings and tail were separated, the Associated Press reported.
An NTSB team was assembled to investigate the cause of the crash. John reportedly said that authorities were arranging for the team to travel to the crash site, located in a remote part.
The plane was on a shore excursion reportedly operated by Promech Air, an airline based in Ketchikan.
"We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those onboard the plane and their families," Holland America Line, the cruise ship company, reportedly said in a statement. "Holland America Line is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved."