Troopers: 5 killed in commuter plane crash in Alaska

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Five people were killed in a small commuter plane crash in southwest Alaska on Thursday, Alaska State Troopers said.

The pilot and four passengers on a Yute Air flight were killed, Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said in an email to The Associated Press.

Names have not been released, and troopers were attempting to notify next of kin, he said.

The commuter flight was traveling from the southwest Alaska hub community of Bethel to the village of Kipnuk.

The flight was reported overdue Thursday afternoon and found crashed about 12 miles (19.31 kilometers) southwest of the community of Tuntutuliak after 1:30 p.m.

The Alaska Army National Guard launched a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from Bethel to the crash scene, Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead said in a text message to the AP.

DeSpain said that’s when confirmation of the five deaths was made.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the Piper PA32 crashed under unknown circumstances.

The phone for Yute Commuter Services at the Anchorage airport rang unanswered Thursday evening.

Troopers didn’t expect to release additional information Thursday.

Tuntutuliak is located about 435 miles (700.06 kilometers) west of Anchorage.

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