Search for Alaska Tourists Continues 2 Days After Pilot Reports They Survived Plane Crash (Video)
Rescuers are searching for five people who crashed in a sightseeing plane in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Heavy cloud cover is affecting the search, which has lasted nearly two days, according to the Associated Press.
On Saturday, the pilot of a K2 Aviation sightseeing flight left Talkeetna with four passengers onboard. The plane is believed to have crashed around 6 p.m. near the summit of Thunder Mountain, which is about 10,900 feet high.
"Terrain in the vicinity of the crash site is characterized as extremely steep and a mix of near-vertical rock, ice and snow,” a press release from the National Park Service (NPS) said. The pilot reported via satellite on Saturday that all the passengers had survived, though some were injured.
"The pilot was able to make a satellite phone call to K2 Aviation,” Katherine Belcher, a spokesperson for the NPS, said on Sunday. “He did report some injuries, he made another phone call about an hour later at 7 p.m., and that is the last known communication anyone has had with the pilot."
Authorities have not been able to reach the pilot since, although they have been able to locate the coordinates from where he made the emergency call.
Because of heavy and low cloud cover, rescuers and emergency services have not been able to spot the plane or the survivors. The park service is working alongside the Alaska Air National Guard, the U.S. Army, and Alaska State Troopers to locate the plane.
There was a first-aid kit, sleeping bags, and emergency food on board the aircraft.
Temperatures near the crash site ranged from 20 degrees Fahrenheit to freezing with a 90-percent chance of snow, according to local news.