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Plane crashes into river in Alaska

FAIRBANKS (AP) – A Douglas C-54 Skymaster airplane carrying two people crashed into the Tanana River near Fairbanks on Tuesday and burst into flames, authorities said.

No survivors have been found.

The plane took off in the morning from Fairbanks International Airport.

It crashed about 11 kilometres from there and “slid into a steep hill on the bank of the river where it caught fire”, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Chief of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska regional office Clint Johnson, said it remained unclear what happened in the time between the takeoff and the crash but the tower operator “saw a large plume of smoke”.

Michaela Matherne was flying from the village of Galena to Fairbanks to catch a flight to New Orleans when her small plane was diverted to verify the coordinates of the crash site.

“When we were in the air there was speculation that it was a cabin that caught fire, maybe a fish camp,” she told The Associated Press via Facebook Messenger.

“We actually didn’t know what we were looking at until after we landed a few minutes later,” she said. “We were shocked and saddened to hear that.”

A fire burns after a Douglas C-54 Skymaster plane crashed into the Tanana River outside Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. PHOTO: AP
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