SEVERAL INJURED AMONG 42 SOULS ONBOARD
Update: 9 am: One passenger has died in this crash, while nine others were injured. One person was medevaced to Seattle. According to Unalaska officials, the plane went off the runway after missing its first attempt at landing. The passenger’s name has not yet been released, but the death is believed to be from traumatic injuries caused by the crash.
The National Transportation and Safety Board has nine investigators enroute.
Unalaska Police, Fire and EMS personnel and other emergency responders arrived within five minutes of the event, which the city’s Public Safety Department said occurred about 5:45. Earlier reports set the time at 6 pm.
“Unalaska units set up incident command with state assets to manage the incident and assess life and safety issues. Once all safety concerns were identified and mitigated, EMS personnel extracted one patient from the aircraft and completed the evacuation of the remaining passengers. All 39 passengers and crew were accounted for.
“The Unalaska Fire Department transported seven patients to the Iliuliuk Clinic and four other patients were brought to the clinic by personal vehicle. Patient injuries ranged from minor to critical. Of the patients transported to the clinic, one was medevaced to Anchorage, and one died of traumatic injuries suffered in the crash. Next of kin has been notified.
“Law enforcement has secured the scene pending arrival of NTSB investigators, which may arrive as early as today. The runway and vehicle traffic through the area is shut down until further notice.”
Update 10:15 pm:
Alaska Airlines has established a toll-free hotline for anyone who believes they may have a family member or friend onboard. The telephone number, accessible from the United States and Canada, is 1-888-283-2153. A telephone number that’s accessible from Mexico is 001-877-542-6973.
PenAir Flight 3296 marketed by Alaska Airlines from Anchorage to Dutch Harbor, Alaska was involved in an incident during landing at 5:40 p.m. local time today.
There are 39 passengers and three crew members onboard. We’re still gathering information about the welfare of those onboard and the incident itself.
PenAir operates the Anchorage-Dutch Harbor service for Alaska with a Saab 2000 aircraft.
Flight 3296 departed Anchorage at 3:15 p.m. local time. As many as 10 individuals may be injured; people are off the plane and being cared for.
A commercial aircraft was off the runway with its nose in the water at the Unalaska/Dutch Harbor Airport this evening. The incident occurred at about 6 pm. Alaska Department of Transportation Airport Rescue and Fire is responding. The airport is currently closed.
Early reports indicate that a high school swim team from Cordova was onboard. (Photo credit Patrick Crandall, from social media.)
Last December, Pen Air was purchased by Ravn. It appears this plane is a Pen Air Saab 2000-17. Pen Air in 2017 brought the Saab 2000s into its fleet. It was the first airline to use the plane on commercial routes.
This plane was manufactured in 1995, and has a turbo-prop engine.
The airport at Dutch Harbor/Unalaska has a runway that is less than 4,000 feet long, too short for Boeing 737s. PenAir operates flights to the Tom Madsen Airport on behalf of Alaska Airlines. The airport is owned by the Alaska Department of Transportation.
How harrowing is flying into the Unalaska airport? Read this pilot’s account of what can go wrong.