Five dead after two planes collide mid-air in Alaska

Two Small Planes With Five Passengers Collide in Alaska

SEATTLE, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Two small planes collided in mid-air over southwest Alaska on Wednesday, killing all five people aboard both aircraft, authorities said.

The crash occurred around 11 a.m. local time (1900 GMT) about 60 miles (96 km) north of the city of Bethel, Alaska National Guard spokeswoman Candis Olmstead said in a statement.

The single-engine planes were a Cessna 208 Caravan with three individuals on board, and a Piper PA-18 Super Cub carrying two people, Olmstead said.

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The Cessna belonged to Hageland Aviation Services, a regional airline, and the Piper was operated by Renfro's Alaskan Adventures, she added. Renfro's offers wilderness hunting and fishing trips out of Bethel, according to its website.

Alaska is a sparsely populated U.S. state more than twice the size of Texas, and residents in remote areas rely on small planes for travel, recreation and mail delivery.

Alaska State Troopers said in a statement that rescue workers searching the crash site found no survivors aboard either aircraft, and said an investigation was continuing.

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Olmstead said the crash occurred about 6 miles northwest of Russian Mission, a remote community in the southwest of the state along the Yukon River.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, authorities said.

Neither Hageland nor Renfro's immediately responded to requests for comment.

An Alaska Army National Guard helicopter ferrying medics have arrived at the crash site, Olmstead said.

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Notable plane crashes in recent years
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Notable plane crashes in recent years
A photo taken on July 23, 2014 shows the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in a field near the village of Grabove, in the Donetsk region. The first bodies from flight MH17 arrived in the Netherlands on July 23 almost a week after it was shot down over Ukraine, with grieving relatives and the king and queen solemnly receiving the as yet unidentified victims. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
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Iranian security forces react next to the remains of a plane as they secure the scene of a crash near Tehran's Mehrabad airport on August 10, 2014. A civilian airliner crashed on take-off near the Mehrabad airport in the capital, Iranian news agencies said, with reports that almost 50 people were killed. AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
GAITHERSBURG, MD - DEC 08: Three people were killed in this house after it caught fire due to a plane that crashed just yards away. A plane crashed into houses on Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg, Maryland today. Three persons were killed in the plane and 3 persons were killed in one of the homes. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Indonesian rescuers search through wreckage of the Trigana Air ATR 42-300 twin-turboprop plane at the crash site in the mountainous area of Oksibil on August 18, 2015. A plane that crashed in eastern Indonesia was found on August 18 'completely destroyed' with the bodies of all 54 passengers and crew strewn amid the wreckage in a fire-blackened jungle clearing, officials said. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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