Rescuers Still Searching for Alaska Park Plane Crash Victims
Rescuers are still searching for a group of five that were on a plane that crashed in Denali National Park in Alaska.
The plane crashed the evening of Aug. 4, and rescuers were still unable to locate anyone by Aug. 5, CBS News reported.
Rescue crews are searching for the group around the summit of Thunder Mountain. All four of the passengers are from Poland, and were aboard the plane on a flightseeing tour. The pilot confirmed via satellite phone that all who were on board are safe, but some have injuries, KTVA reported.
The pilot was able to make two phone calls, one after the crash, and another one an hour later. That was the last time he made contact, according to KTVA.
“The NPS high-altitude helicopter, along with an Air National Guard C-130 and two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, departed early this morning and are attempting to reach the crash site. A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook from Fort Wainwright is in Talkeetna and will launch as soon as possible,” according to a release from the National Parks Service, obtained by KTVA.
Thunder Mountain is located 14 miles southwest of Denali Mountain’s summit, considered the highest peak in North America. The plane is equipped sleeping bags, a stove, a pot, food, and a first-aid kit, KTVA reported.
The park service, along with the Alaska Air National Guard, the U.S. Army, and Alaska State Troopers are involved in the search. Because of the terrain, rescuers are forced to attempt rescue via air, KTVA reported.
“It’s a very tricky terrain up there,” said National Park Service spokeswoman Katherine Belcher, via KTVA. “It’s basically a sheer vertical cliff: lots of ice, lots of snow, lots of rock.”
Searchers say the plane was probably heading back to an airport, according to KTVA. Airspace near the crash is restricted while the search continues.