Sydney man confirmed among dead in Alaskan mid-air seaplane crash

 sbs.com.au  05/15/2019 09:06:53  2

Australian tourist Simon Bodie has died after two sightseeing seaplanes collided mid-air in Alaska.

Alaska State Troopers have confirmed on Tuesday that Mr Bodie, 56, from Tempe in Sydney's inner-west, was one of six people killed in the horror crash.

Simon Bodie
Simon Bodie, the Sydney man killed in the Alaskan seaplane accident.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to his family.

An Australian cruise ship passenger has died and 10 Americans are injured after two seaplanes collided.
An Australian cruise ship passenger has died and 10 Americans are injured after two seaplanes collided.

The collision occurred when a larger de Havilland Otter DHC-3, carrying 10 passengers and the pilot, was returning from Misty Fjord and collided with a smaller DHC-2 Beaver.

Mr Bodie was believed to have taken the flight as part of a side trip from a cruise he was on along the Alaskan coast.

All 14 passengers on the two seaplanes came from the cruise ship, Royal Princess.
All 14 passengers on the two seaplanes came from the cruise ship, Royal Princess.

"The Australian unfortunately is one of the people confirmed deceased," US Coast Guard Lieutenant Brian Dykens told AAP.

The nationalities of the people from both planes are 14 Americans, a Canadian and the Australian Mr Brodie.

The planes crashed into the icy cold waters off a southeast Alaska inlet near Ketchikan, a popular destination for cruise ships in Alaska.

The Royal Princess, which can carry up to 3600 people, was among four city-sized cruise ships in the tiny coastal community on the day.

A Coast Guard helicopter searches for an Australian and a Canadian, who were initially missing.
A Coast Guard helicopter searches for an Australian and a Canadian, who were initially missing.

A popular activity is flightseeing in Misty Fjords National Monument to view the lakes, snowcapped peaks and glacier valleys in the wilderness area.

The cause of the crash in relatively good weather, high overcast skies with light southeast winds was not known.

The crash occurred about 13 kilometres from Ketchikan, near George Inlet. The planes came down about two kilometres apart with some of the debris field on land.

Emergency response crews transport an injured passenger to an ambulance after a small aircraft collided midair.
Emergency response crews transport an injured passenger to an ambulance after a small aircraft collided midair.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were due to arrive later on Tuesday.

Princess Cruises in its release said two passengers and the pilot were among those killed in this plane.

(1/2)We are deeply saddened by the tragic plane accident in Ketchikan yesterday, and are offering our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the traveling companions of guests involved.

 Princess Cruises (@PrincessCruises) May 14, 2019

The Beaver appears to have broken apart in midair, according to Jerry Kiffer, duty incident commander of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad.

He said the plane's tail and section of the fuselage were 275m from the aircraft's floats, which landed near shore.

After the crash, the 10 injured passengers were initially taken to a hospital in Ketchikan. Four patients were later transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, suffering various broken bones, spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

The Royal Princess left Vancouver, British Columbia, on May 11 and was scheduled to arrive in Anchorage on Saturday.

"We are extending our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the travelling companions of the guests involved," the company said in a statement.

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