10 Die as Air Taxi Crashes in Alaska

Authorities say an air taxi has crashed at the Soldotna Airport in Alaska, killing all 10 people on board.

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by Associated Press

ANCHORAGE- Authorities say an air taxi has crashed at the Soldotna Airport in Alaska, killing all 10 people on board.


National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson says the pilot and nine passengers were killed in the crash at the airport late Sunday morning.


Meagan Peters of Alaska State Troopers says the fixed-wing aircraft was fully engulfed in flames before firefighters could get to the plane. The victims have not yet been identified.


The accident happened around 11:20 a.m. Johnson said initial reports had the accident happening as the plane took off.


The NTSB identified the aircraft in a release Sunday as a de Havilland Otter Air Taxi. The NTSB is sending a team to investigate the crash.


All 10 people aboard the air taxi died as the aircraft crashed and was engulfed in flames at the airport in Soldotna on Sunday.


National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson told The Associated Press that nine passengers and one pilot died in the crash.


The Federal Aviation Administration said the De Havilland DHC3 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.


Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Meagan Peters said a fire that consumed the aircraft initially kept firefighters from reaching the wreckage. The passengers have not been identified.