Quantcast

Denali National Park Plane Crash Leaves 4 Dead, 1 Missing

Popular
Location of crashed plane on Thunder Mountain. NPS

A flightseeing plane carrying Polish passengers crashed near the summit of the Thunder Mountain ridgeline in Denali National Park on Saturday.

On Monday, a National Park Service (NPS) ranger was lowered down to the crash site from a line from a helicopter. The ranger dug through snow and found the bodies of four of the five passengers, NPS said in a press release.


The fifth person is missing and presumed dead. "There were no footprints or disturbances leading away from the site and there were no other signs to indicate any of the passengers made it out of the plane," the park service said.

The plane went down at approximately 6 p.m. on Aug. 4 in "extremely technical terrain on a hanging glacier that spans a crevice," NPS said. They crashed near the top of Thunder Mountain, which stands at roughly 10,900 feet.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials said Monday that it may be the deadliest civilian crash to ever occur in the park.

"We believe it to be the largest fatality at Denali [National] Park, according to our NTSB records," NTSB investigator Noreen Price told KTVA.

The names of the passengers are being withheld pending notification of family members. Only Craig Layson of Saline, Michigan, the pilot of the K2 Aviation flight, has been identified.

Layson sent out a distress call and reported injuries immediately after the plane went down but contact with him was lost, according to the Associated Press. Poor weather also hampered rescue efforts to reach the aircraft.

Due to foul weather and the dangerous location, recovery efforts will not occur until later this week, NTSB spokesman Clint Johnson said to the Associated Press.

"It's a very tricky terrain up there," Katherine Belcher with the NPS told KTVA. "It's basically a sheer vertical cliff: lots of ice, lots of snow, lots of rock."

A temporary flight restriction in the vicinity of the crash site was lifted on Tuesday.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less