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Aircraft Crash Victims Rescued

Gates Of The Arctic National Park and Preserve

National Park News

On the evening of June 21st, off-duty park employee Rachel Hanft was walking her dog when she saw a private plane crash into the woods near a lake that is used by float planes. She called the ranger station in Bettles and notified rangers of the incident. A group of four rangers and volunteers used two boats to travel by river to reach the crash site, arriving within a half hour of Hanft’s call. They extricated the aircraft’s two occupants from the plane, suppressed a small flash fire, provided initial medical treatment, and transported them to Bettles.  Medical assistance continued there until a military aircraft and helicopter with parajumpers arrived. The victims were then flown to Army and Air National Guard medical facilities. The accident occurred near the boundary of Kanuti Wildlife Refuge and Department of Transportation land. Rangers and Federal Aviation Administration representatives returned to the crash site on Friday to investigate the cause of the crash and to insert booms and pads around the aircraft to prevent any fuel contamination at the site.



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