Image: Float plane after emergency landing
Bob Hallinen  /  Anchorage Daily News via AP
A float plane sits on the side of the runway at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, Saturday after making an emergency landing. The float plane collided mid-air with a Cessna 180 in the Trapper Creek area. The Cessna 180 crashed to the ground and burned, killing four people on board, authorities said.
msnbc.com
updated 7/31/2011 1:43:40 AM ET 2011-07-31T05:43:40

Four people died in a midair Alaska plane collision Saturday afternoon, officials said. One plane landed safely; the other crashed to the ground and burned.

The two Cessna float planes collided at 2:14 p.m. near Amber Lake in the Trapper Creek area, about 90 miles northeast of Anchorage, the Alaska Department of Public Safety said.

One plane, a Cessna 180, crashed into the ground and became engulfed in flames after impact. Four bodies were recovered from the aircraft, Alaska State Troopers said. The names of the deceased were not immediately released.

The other plane, a Cessna 206, maintained flight and returned to Anchorage where the pilot, Kevin Earp, 56, of Eagle River, made an emergency landing at Ted Stevens International Airport. Earp was alone and not injured, officials said. However, the plane sustained significant damage as it landed on its floats.

The cause and circumstances surrounding the crash are under investigation. Troopers, the State Medical Examiner's Office, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the crash.

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