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Plane crashes in Alaska; 3 dead, others injured

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska » Three people died and others were injured Tuesday after a floatplane belonging to a fishing lodge crashed with 10 people on board in southwest Alaska, authorities said.

Alaska State Troopers said the three dead were from outside the state.

The injured passengers were being flown to Anchorage hospitals following the crash near the small community of Iliamna, 175 miles southwest of Anchorage. It’s unclear how many people were hurt.

Local residents said the plane belongs to the Rainbow King Lodge. Calls to the business went unanswered.

Rescue personnel initially took injured passengers to the clinic in Iliamna.

The plane crashed on takeoff at Eastwind Lake, 1 mile north of the community, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer. It was a De Havilland DHC-3 Turbine Otter on floats, he said.

The cause of the crash is not yet known.

National Transportation Safety Board Alaska Chief Clint Johnson said the plane came to rest in some trees. Two NTSB investigators were heading to Iliamna later in the day, he said.

In late June, another DHC-3 Otter crashed in a mountainous area in southeast Alaska, killing all nine people on board.

The sightseeing plane crashed on a steep cliff about 25 miles from Ketchikan, killing the pilot and eight cruise ship passengers. The excursion was sold through the cruise company Holland America and operated by Ketchikan-based Promech Air.

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