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Workers using helicopter to recover wreckage of southeast Alaska plane crash

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Crews have started recovering the wreckage of a Cessna 207 that crashed Friday in a rugged area of southeast Alaska.

Recovery efforts began Sunday with a helicopter flight to a wooded area west of Juneau, National Transportation Safety Board Alaska regional office chief Clint Johnson told the Alaska Dispatch News (http://bit.ly/1KgfPMg ).

The Wings of Alaska flight crashed on the way from Juneau to the small community of Hoonah, killing 45-year-old pilot Fariah Peterson. Her body was recovered Saturday.

The plane's four passengers were injured. They were airlifted from the crash site Friday by U.S. Coast Guard rescuers.

Two of the survivors, Sandra Herrera Lopez, 60, of Juneau, and Ernestine Hanlon-Abel, 64, of Hoonah, were listed in serious condition Monday and were being treated in intensive care at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said. Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau said the two others, Humberto Hernandez-Aponte, 57, of Juneau, and Jose Vasquez, 15, of Puerto Rico, remained listed in stable condition Monday.

Officials were able to reach the crash site on Saturday. The rough, wooded terrain required them to be lowered by hoist from a Coast Guard helicopter.

The plane's wreckage will be taken to Juneau and stored in a hangar there, Johnson said. Representatives of the aircraft and engine manufacturers will be on hand while federal officials continue their investigation.

In late June, another plane crashed in the region's treacherous terrain and killed nine people. That de Havilland Otter, operated by Promech Air, remains on a steep cliffside east of Ketchikan. It requires a helicopter capable of lifting heavy loads.

It will be "another week or so" before that wreckage can be recovered, Johnson said.


Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, http://www.adn.com

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