The Latest: Epidemiologist killed in Alaska plane crash

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The Latest on a second fatal Alaska floatplane crash in a week (all times local):

12 p.m.

An Alaska tribal health organization says the passenger killed in the state’s latest floatplane crash was a staff epidemiologist traveling for her job.

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in a statement Tuesday said that Sarah Luna joined the group nearly a year ago as a senior epidemiologist for the consortium’s the liver disease and hepatitis program.

Consortium spokeswoman Shirley Young says Luna was flying to the community of Metlatkatla to provide health services when the plane crashed.

Luna’s uncle Carlos Luna says his niece was 32 and moved to Alaska for the job in July from Atlanta, where she had worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was originally from Oxnard, California.

Luna and the pilot of a Beaver floatplane operated by Taquan Air were killed when the aircraft crashed in Metlakatla Harbor on Monday afternoon. The pilot’s name has not been made public.

Monday’s crash followed the May 13 midair collision of a Taquan Air Beaver floatplane with another floatplane. Six people died in that crash and another 10 people were injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Taquan Air has voluntarily suspended operations until further notice following the latest crash.

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10 a.m.

Federal officials say an Alaska air carrier involved in two deadly floatplane crashes in a week has voluntarily suspended operations.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the halt of flightseeing and commuter flights is in place until further notice.

The action comes after the passenger and the pilot of a Beaver floatplane operated by Taquan Air were killed when the aircraft crashed in Metlakatla Harbor on Monday afternoon during a scheduled commuter flight from Ketchikan.

Taquan Air officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board in Alaska, says witnesses reported the crash occurred during landing.

Monday’s crash followed the May 13 midair collision of a Taquan Air Beaver floatplane with another floatplane. Six people died in that crash and another 10 people were injured.

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6:25 a.m.

Authorities say the second Alaska floatplane crash in a week has killed two people in the same region where two floatplanes collided last week in an accident that left six people dead.

Ketchikan Gateway Borough spokeswoman Deanna Thomas said in a statement that the passenger and the pilot of a Beaver floatplane operated by Taquan Air crashed in Metlakatla Harbor Monday afternoon.

The accident followed the May 13 midair collision of a Taquan Air Beaver floatplane with another floatplane.

Thomas says the circumstances of the latest crash are not yet being made public.

The victims in the latest crash were not identified because their families were being notified.

Thomas says the floatplane was being towed to land.



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