ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An air taxi crashed Sunday at a small Alaska airport, killing all 10 people on board and leaving the aircraft fully engulfed in flames before firefighters could get to it, authorities said.
The de Havilland DHC3 Otter air taxi crashed just after 11 a.m. at the airport in Soldotna, a community about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage and located on the Kenai Peninsula.
“We do have 10 fatalities, unfortunately, nine passengers, one pilot,” National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson told the Associated Press.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Otter was operated by Rediske Air, based out of another Kenai Peninsula community, Nikiski.
Will Satathite, who was working Sunday at Rediske Air’s Nikiski office, confirmed to the Peninsula Clarion newspaper that the aircraft was flown by Nikiski pilot and company owner Willy Rediske with nine passengers onboard.
A man who didn’t identify himself at the Rediske office declined comment later Sunday to the AP, saying the crash was under investigation.
Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Meagan Peters said the aircraft erupted in flames and the fire initially kept firefighters from reaching the wreckage. The victims have not been identified.
Spitzer plans run for NYC comptroller
ALBANY, N.Y. – A person close to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer said he is planning a return to politics with a run for New York City comptroller.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Spitzer was only speaking to the New York Times.
Candidates for citywide offices like comptroller have to have 3,750 signatures from registered voters in their party by Thursday.
Spitzer, a Democrat, stepped down from the governor’s office in 2008 over a prostitution scandal.
The Times first reported the story on Sunday.
Spitzer is not the only politician looking for a second chance. Former Rep. Anthony Weiner is running for mayor. The former Democratic congressman left office two years ago amid a scandal over his tweets.
Mississippi River closed in search for tug
NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard said it has reopened a stretch of the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana that was shut down as a precaution while authorities searched for a sunken tugboat.
The Mississippi from its mouth to mile-marker 10 was reopened Sunday evening to alternating one-way vessel traffic after no navigation hazards were detected.
Authorities are still searching for the 48-foot tug C-Pec, which sank Saturday afternoon. The cause isn’t known. Two people aboard were rescued.
River traffic was halted in both directions and at one point Sunday afternoon at least 50 vessels were waiting to travel.
Officials seek clues in fireworks accident
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Fire crews have combed a community park northwest of Los Angeles in search of clues after a July Fourth fireworks explosion injured dozens of revelers.
The Ventura County Fire Department completed its evidence collection Saturday at a Simi Valley park where between 8,000 and 10,000 spectators gathered days earlier to watch fireworks. Crews also gathered evidence in nearby Ojai, where a pyrotechnics operator was injured by a premature blast.
A state fire official was due in town this week to join county fire officials on the investigation.
The community park remained closed after Thursday’s mishap. Some three dozen spectators, ranging from 17 months to 78 years old, were injured in the fireworks explosion.