Six cruise passengers killed as tour planes collide in Alaska

The bodies of the final two victims of an Alaska seaplane mid-air crash were recovered after a 27-hour search of George Inlet.

A hunt through the debris and cold waters discovered the bodies during the evening of Tuesday May 14th. The collision killed six people and injured 10 more.

There were 14 passengers from Princess Cruises ship Royal Princess (IMO 9584712) who boarded two seaplanes in the town of Ketchikan on Monday, the cruise line said. The planes were operated by separate tour companies.

The dead, three men and three women, ranged in age from 37 to 62. All the dead were identified late on Tuesday, and 14 of those on board the planes were American.

Work at the crash site will now shift to an investigation into what led the two planes, which were ferrying Princess Cruises passengers on sightseeing expeditions, to strike each other and fall into the waters of George Inlet.

A team of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators has been sent to the site. Divers started working on Wednesday to pull up the wreckage of the two planes.

All of the 10 who survived were injured in the collision, which took place over open water during daylight, the US Coast Guard said. The dead included one of the pilots. Three of the injured were in serious condition and seven in fair condition, according to Dr Peter Rice, medical director of the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Centre.

2013-built, Bermuda-flagged, 142,714 gt Royal Princess is owned by Carnival Corp of Doral, Florida, USA, and managed by Princess Cruise Lines Ltd of Valencia, California, USA.  It is entered with Steamship (Americas Syndicate) on behalf of Princess Cruise Lines Ltd, and with UK Club (area group Americas G7) on behalf of Carnival Corp.