USA — Guardsmen Work to Recover Victims from Crash Site

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2010 — Alas­ka Air Nation­al Guard air­men aid­ed vic­tims dur­ing the plane crash in Dilling­ham, Alas­ka, that claimed the life of for­mer U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and oth­ers, mark­ing the Guard’s sec­ond res­cue mis­sion since Aug. 8.

The downed plane that claimed the life of Stevens and report­ed­ly four oth­ers was spot­ted 285 miles south­west of Anchor­age, Alas­ka. Flight ser­vice offi­cials in Dilling­ham con­tact­ed the Alas­ka Guard’s 11th Res­cue Coor­di­na­tion Cen­ter after los­ing con­tact with the De Hav­il­land Twin Otter at around 7 p.m., Nation­al Guard offi­cials said in a state­ment today. Five peo­ple report­ed­ly sur­vived the crash.

Parares­cue air­men from the Alas­ka Air Nation­al Guard’s 212th Res­cue Squadron arrived on the scene just before noon today. The air­men strug­gled against rough weath­er, and had been expect­ed to arrive around mid­night last night, Air Force Maj. Guy Hayes said in a writ­ten state­ment.

A Coast Guard C-130 is pro­vid­ing sup­port over­head and will be avail­able to take vic­tims in need of seri­ous med­ical sup­port to Anchor­age once vic­tims are trans­port­ed to Dilling­ham, offi­cials said.

Hayes’ state­ment said five med­ical respon­ders are on the scene. News reports esti­mate at least five fatal­i­ties.

Mem­bers of the squadron are on the ground at a sep­a­rate crash site about 60 miles north­east of Anchor­age on the Knik Glac­i­er, Pen­ta­gon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Robert L. Ditchey said. Guards­men deliv­ered sur­vival sup­plies to four Texas vaca­tion­ers and their pilot after harsh weath­er forced the Piper Chero­kee air­craft to make a “con­trolled land­ing,” he said.

All five Knik Glac­i­er vic­tims were report­ed to be in “good con­di­tion,” he said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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