1 dead after commercial aircraft crashes at Unalaska airport
A commercial aircraft went off the runway after landing Thursday evening at the Unalaska-Dutch Harbor airport.
A notice from the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday morning wrote that one passenger was killed.
The Unalaska Department of Public Safety, in a community alert Friday morning, also wrote that of two patients taken to a clinic, one person died "of traumatic injuries suffered in the crash."
Alaska State Troopers identified the man who died as 38-year-old David Allan Oltman of Washington. Oltman's next of kin have been notified.
The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities posted on social media at 6:45 p.m. Thursday saying the agency was notified about the incident around 6 p.m.
According to the post, DOT&PF Airport Rescue and Fire was responding to the scene and the airport had been closed.
A 9:30 p.m. release from Alaska Airlines stated flight 3926 was operated by PenAir and departed from Anchorage to Dutch Harbor at 3:15 p.m. It landed at 5:40 p.m. when the incident occurred. The aircraft, a Saab 2000, was carrying 39 passengers and three crew members, according to the release. The airline did not comment on the number or extent of injuries.
The Associated Press reports the plane landed about 500 feet beyond the airport near the water. A witness working in the area nearby told KTVA they heard a sound, saw the plane and ran over.
Swimmers from the Cordova School District were on board the flight, according to a post from the district on Facebook, in which Superintendent Alex Russin wrote, "the inbound flight that experienced difficulty in stopping on the airport runway."
The post reads, in part:
"At present, all students and chaperones are accounted for and are OK, albeit a bit shaken up. REPEAT, EVERYONE IS SAFE AND SECURE.
Moments ago, I spoke again with Superintendent [of Schools in Unalaska] Conwell who stated that the team was together, seemed fine, and were eating pizza. Mr. Conwell assured me repeatedly that the students would be well looked after and taken care of.
Details regarding the flight are unknown at this time and will be subject to those closer to the event."
Winds at the time were gusting at 10 to 20 miles per hour.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. A statement from PenAir sent after 11 p.m. Thursday said the company, which is owned by Ravn Air Group, is in contact and fully cooperating with the NTSB.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our passengers and crew, and the family members of everyone with loved ones on this flight,” said PenAir CEO Dave Pflieger in the release.
Alaska Airlines has set up a hotline for anyone whose family and friends may have been onboard. The toll-free number is 1-888-283-2153 in the U.S. and Canada or 001-877-540-6973 in Mexico. PenAir and Ravn have also established a family assistance line at 1-800-757-4784.
DOT announced Saturday at 9:02 p.m. that the Unalaska/Dutch Harbor Airport was reopened. The department said a thorough inspection was done on the runway and crews found no damage.
Alaska Airlines has suspended operations between Anchorage and Unalaska through at least Monday.
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