Plane Burst Into Flames in Alaska Leaving No Survivors

( – Air travel is the preferred method of transport in Alaska because of how remote so many villages are. It’s also how many companies choose to move goods. That’s what two individuals were doing recently when their plane went down.

On April 23, a Douglas C-54 Skymaster took off from Fairbanks International Airport around 10 a.m. local time. The plane went down in the Tanana River just after takeoff. Alaska State Troopers issued a press release saying it slid down a steep hill onto the riverbank and caught fire. Authorities didn’t find any survivors.

In the immediate aftermath, the chief of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska office, Clint Johnson, told the press it wasn’t clear what caused the accident. He said the tower operator at the airport “saw a large plume of smoke” in the direction of the crash. However, the next day, the Federal Aviation Administration released a preliminary report and revealed the pilots of the cargo plane reported a fire just after takeoff.

Alaska Public Media reported Johnson said the pilots weren’t specific about where the fire was but said they “needed to return immediately to Fairbanks International” and a short time later, the tower lost communication with the flight.

The plane was carrying 3,200 gallons of fuel oil when it went down. The crew was traveling to a small community in the Northwest Arctic Borough, Kobuk, to deliver liquid cargo. Officials hadn’t identified the victims of the crash at that time. The company, Alaska Air Fuel, had not spoken to the press As of April 25.

Alaska State Troopers updated the previous press release on April 24, saying that the conditions at the crash site, including the thin ice and open water, were making recovery efforts hard. The remains of the victims were recovered from the scene and sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for identification.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

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