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Douglas DC-4 Plane Crashes In Tanana River Near Fairbanks: No Survivors Found, Alaska State Troopers Respond

A Douglas DC-4 aircraft crashed into the Tanana River near Fairbanks, claiming the live of 2 people. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash, which occurred shortly after departure from Fairbanks International Airport.

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Douglas DC-4 Plane Crash in Alaska Photo: Getty Images
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A Douglas C-54 Skymaster aircraft, carrying two people, crashed into the Tanana River near Fairbanks on Tuesday and erupted into flames, as reported by authorities. No survivors have been located.

The plane departed from Fairbanks International Airport in the morning and crashed approximately seven miles (11 kilometers) away, sliding "into a steep hill on the bank of the river where it caught fire," according to Alaska State Troopers.

Clint Johnson, the chief of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska regional office, stated that it remains unclear what transpired between the takeoff and the crash, but the tower operator "saw a large plume of smoke".

Michaela Matherne was en route from the village of Galena to Fairbanks to catch a flight to New Orleans when her small plane was redirected to verify the crash site coordinates.

"When we were in the air there was speculation that it was a cabin that caught fire, maybe a fish camp," she shared with The Associated Press via Facebook Messenger. "We actually did not know what we were looking at until after we landed a few minutes later. We were shocked and saddened to hear that."

The C-54 is the military variant of the Douglas DC-4, which was an aircraft from the World War II era. During its prime, the DC-4 typically accommodated 44 passengers, although most have been converted into freighters, according to www.airliners.net.

While the Federal Aviation Administration referred to the aircraft as a Douglas C-54, troopers identified it as a DC-4.

Additional details, such as the purpose and destination of the flight, were not immediately available.

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