Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Denali National Park Plane Crash Leaves 4 Dead, 1 Missing

Popular
Denali National Park Plane Crash Leaves 4 Dead, 1 Missing
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.

A seagull flies in front of the Rampion offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom. Neil / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

A key part of the United States' clean energy transition has started to take shape, but you may need to squint to see it. About 2,000 wind turbines could be built far offshore, in federal waters off the Atlantic Coast, in the next 10 years. And more are expected.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Frank La Sorte and Kyle Horton

Millions of birds travel between their breeding and wintering grounds during spring and autumn migration, creating one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. These journeys often span incredible distances. For example, the Blackpoll warbler, which weighs less than half an ounce, may travel up to 1,500 miles between its nesting grounds in Canada and its wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Kevin Maillefer / Unsplash

By Lynne Peeples

Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, "Thirsting for Solutions," here.

In late September 2020, officials in Wrangell, Alaska, warned residents who were elderly, pregnant or had health problems to avoid drinking the city's tap water — unless they could filter it on their own.

Read More Show Less
Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less
New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less