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4 dead in Western Alaska plane crash, officials say

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A plane crash near the remote western Alaska village of Saint Marys killed four of the 10 people aboard, including an infant boy, an Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman said Saturday.

The pilot and three passengers died in the Friday night crash, spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

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Peters said she had no immediate word on the six survivors’ condition but an airline spokeswoman said she understood they were injured.

The single-engine, turboprop Cessna 208 was a Hageland Aviation flight from Bethel to Mountain Village and Saint Marys, said Kathy Roser, a spokeswoman for Era Alaska airline. Hageland is part of Era Alaska, Roser said.

Jim Hickerson, president of Hageland Aviation, also told the Anchorage Daily News the six survivors were injured.

The wreckage was found about 4 miles east of Saint Marys.

Troopers and an air ambulance service responded to the scene, Peters said.

The dead were identified as pilot Terry Hansen, Rose Polty and Richard Polty and the infant, Wyatt Coffee.

The survivors included Melanie Coffee, Pauline Johnson, Kylan Johnson, Tonya Lawrence, Garrett Moses and Shannon Lawrence.

No ages or hometowns were immediately available, Peters said.

An emergency locator beacon signal helped pinpoint the crash site, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson said.

There was no immediate word on what might have cause the crash. The NTSB planned to send two investigators to the scene Saturday. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email requesting crash information.

The temperature in the area Friday night was about 18 degrees.

Saint Marys, with a population of about 500, is roughly 470 miles from Anchorage.

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