3 Die in Denali National Park Plane Crash
Early Monday morning, 3 people were confirmed dead after a large cargo plane crashed at Alaska’s Denali National Park into the south-facing slope of Mount Healy and burst into flames. Kris Fister, a spokeswoman for the park, confirmed that the plane, which was a Fairchild C-123 registered to All West Freight, was basically disintegrated after crashing on Sunday near the Denali Park airstrip.
The National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive on Monday to start investigating the crash. Fister said that the plane wasn’t on a military mission and noted that they wouldn’t release the names of the diseased until the families are notified. Emergency crews had to battle a forest fire that was caused from the plane crash near the border of the park.
Brent Stache, a visitor, said that the plane appeared to be flying low. The pilot banked hard to the left and crashed straight down, he explained. Another witness, George Clare, said that he thought the plane was a military aircraft, but officials have stated that no military planes were involved.
Jeff Kowalczyk, an EMT, was hiking through the park with his wife, who is a nurse. He said that he saw the plane flying nearly upside-down while it crashed. It happened only a few hundred yards from where they were standing, he added, describing the whole incident as really surreal.
This is the second crash in Alaska during just a few days. It comes after a US military C-17 cargo jet crashed into a wooded area while on a training mission near Anchorage. All 4 of the members on board died.
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