A Dehavilland Otter float plane taking off from East Wind Lake in Iliamna on Tuesday morning, and at three on board are confirmed dead.
The Otter was operated by the Rainbow King Lodge took off from the lake on floats with a total of 10 on board.
Alaska State Troopers took the call at about 6:15 a.m. that the plane had crashed shortly after takeoff some 300-400 yards from the water’s edge.
Three were killed and the rest injured.
Officials are still sorting through the details, but believe plane had the pilot plus a mix of fishing clients and guides on board.
Illiamna-based Trooper Joseph Minnick was on scene all morning, and describes an incredible volunteer response from residents and other nearby lodges’ staff.
“It was an amazing show of support. Most of the community in Iliamna-Newhalen were on scene to hike the roughly 400 yards through the tundra to get to the crash site,” Minnick said. “And, with their efforts, we were able to transport the injured from the site and get them to the local clinic for treatment.”
Minnick says two of the injured passengers were able to walk out and the rest were assisted. And all of all of the injured have now been medevaced by a Rescue Coordination Center C-130 back to Anchorage.
Emma Hill lives just across East Wind Lake from the crash site and could see the crumpled wings sticking up as she woke up this morning.
“Everybody is sad, I mean, it’s just tragic and even if we don’t know the people, it’s still lives taken and people hurt,” she said. “And the people who have to respond to such an emergency, it really affects them. It’s just sad.”
Rainbow King Lodge could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning, nor have the identities of the deceased been released.