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10 Killed In Crash Of Alaska Air Taxi

Police and emergency personnel stand near the remains of a fixed-wing aircraft that was engulfed in flames Sunday at the Soldotna Airport in Alaska.
Rashah McChesney
/
Peninsula Clarion
Police and emergency personnel stand near the remains of a fixed-wing aircraft that was engulfed in flames Sunday at the Soldotna Airport in Alaska.

One of the worst civilian aviation accidents in the state in at least 25 years killed all 10 people aboard an air taxi in Alaska on Sunday, the Anchorage Daily News writes.

The crash happened at the airport in Soldotna, a small city on the Kenai Peninsula about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage. The Daily News says that an initial report from the National Transportation Safety Board indicates the de Havilland DHC-3 Otter airplane was taking off at the time.

According to the newspaper:

"The Soldotna Airport is a municipal airstrip with a single paved 5,000-foot long runway adjacent to the Kenai River. The airport is busy in the summer months with fishing, hunting and sight-seeing flights that take off from the Kenai Peninsula town."

The long distances between communities and the desire among outdoors enthusiasts to reach remote places have made traveling on small planes common in Alaska. Unfortunately, as the Daily News says, because of that Alaska is also "a state with many fatal aviation accidents."

In 2010, former Republican Sen. Ted Stevens was among five people killed in the crash of a small plane. Among the other accidents with high death tolls in recent decades was the 1987 crash of a Ryan Air Beechcraft 1900C. Eighteen people were killed.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.