Investigation into airplane crash put on hold due to coronavirus concerns

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A plane crash in Alaska injured four people but the National Transportation Safety Board delayed normal investigation procedures over concerns about the coronavirus, officials said.

A couple and their two adult sons were the only people on the airplane and they were transported to a hospital following the crash in the Fire Lake area north of Eagle River around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, authorities said.

No information was immediately available about the condition of the injured family members.

The mother and father were in the front of the plane and sustained more serious injuries, the Anchorage Police Department said.

The NTSB was not immediately able to send investigators to the accident site due to concerns over COVID-19. The decision of whether to send a team will be made by supervisors in Washington, D.C., NTSB Alaska Regional Chief Clint Johnson said.

The agency is investigating remotely with the Anchorage police and fire departments.

The Matanuska Electric Association reported the crash on social media, noting that the accident caused an outage leaving about 85 customers without power. Power was restored early Sunday morning, the utility company said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death