Statement from National Park Service

August 1, 2010 

The following statement was issued Sunday night by the National Park Service:

At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 1 a large multi-engine cargo-type aircraft crashed into the south-facing slope of Mount Healy within a mile of the park headquarters and approximately 200 yards north of the Denali Park Road. The crash started a wildland fire, which is currently contained at approximately one acre. As the fire is still active, a thorough investigation of the scene is not possible until the fire is under control. There are fatalities, but the number and identities can not be confirmed at this time.

The first personnel arrived on scene within minutes, but the wreckage was already engulfed in flames. In addition to National Park Service medics and other emergency responders, the Tri-Valley and McKinley Village volunteer fire departments responded with fire engines and an ambulance. The Tanana Zone of the Alaska Fire Service dropped eight smokejumpers into the scene.

The jumpers and Denali wildland fire fighters are currently putting water on hot spots to fully control and extinguish the fire. They and NPS rangers will be on scene overnight. The Alaska State Troopers also responded and have assisted with the investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have been notified. The NTSB investigators will arrive on scene tomorrow morning.

The Denali Park Road is open to traffic, but the Rock Creek and Roadside Trails (which link park headquarters and the Denali Visitor Center) are temporarily closed. There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in effect over the crash site until further notice. Pilots using the park airstrip or transiting the Windy Pass area are cautioned to check Notices to Aircraft (NOTAMs) and be alert for firefighting and official aircraft.

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