1 dead and 9 missing after seaplane crash in Washington

LANGLEY, Wash.: One person was killed and nine people are still missing, including a child, after a seaplane crashed Sunday afternoon in Puget Sound, Washington, the US Coast Guard said.

The agency said in a press release that the plane was flying from Friday Harbor, a popular tourist destination in the San Juan Islands, to Renton, a southern suburb of Seattle.

Four Coast Guard vessels, a rescue helicopter and an aircraft were involved in the extensive search, along with nearby rescue and law enforcement agencies.

The crash was reported at 3.11pm. The Coastguard said a body had been found and nine people were still missing around 9pm. The cause of the crash is unknown, authorities said.

The plane crashed in Mutiny Bay off Whidbey Island, about 50 miles northwest of downtown Seattle and halfway between Friday Harbor and Renton.

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The National Transportation Safety Board said the plane was a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter, a single-engine propeller plane.

Seaplanes, which have pontoons allowing them to land on water, are commonplace around Puget Sound, an inlet to the Pacific Ocean. There are several daily flights between the Seattle area and the San Juan Islands, a scenic archipelago northwest of Seattle that attracts tourists from around the world.

These planes, which also fly between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, frequently fly over Seattle and land in Lake Washington, not far from the city’s iconic Space Needle.

Renton, where authorities say the flight was heading on Sunday, is at the southern tip of Lake Washington, about 10 miles southeast of Seattle.

In 2019, a mid-air crash in Alaska between two passenger planes killed six people. Seaplanes based in Ketchikan carried passengers from the same cruise ship, the Royal Princess, and returned from visits to Misty Fjords National Monument.

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