July 31, 2011 in Nation/World

Planes collide; one lands safely

Associated Press

TRAPPER CREEK, Alaska – Two small airplanes collided above Alaska on Saturday, with one of the aircraft landing safely after the accident and the other crashing to the ground and burning, killing at least two people on board, authorities said.

The plane that crashed, a Cessna 180, was destroyed by the impact and subsequent fire, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told the Associated Press. The second plane, a Cessna single-engine, was able to return to Anchorage International Airport and make an emergency landing after the collision near Trapper Creek.

Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said that two or three people had died in the crash, and the state medical examiner’s office was en route to the site to determine the exact number of people on board when the plane went down.

“It was engulfed in flames on the ground,” Peters said of the destroyed plane. “We’re seeing if anybody made it out. There’s no apparent survivors.”

Earlier this month, another collision between two planes was hailed as remarkably unusual after nine people aboard the Piper Navajo involved and four people in the second aircraft, a Cessna 206 floatplane, survived uninjured.

The planes in the July 10 collision sustained some minor damage but were able to land safely in Anchorage, with FAA spokesman Mike Fergus describing the incident as “almost unheard of.”

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