Search underway for missing plane in Alaska with 5 on board

Authorities were responding to a report of a downed plane with five people on board in southeast Alaska on Friday, the Coast Guard said.

The Cessna 207 operated by Wings of Alaska was reported missing Friday afternoon. The company confirmed the plane had been involved in an accident.

Juneau police said they received a 911 call from someone saying they had been involved in a plane crash on a flight from Juneau to the community of Hoonah. The caller's name was not released, but police said it matched the name of one of the people on the missing plane. The condition of those on board was not immediately known.

Authorities were unable to do aerial search and hoist activities because of poor weather and steep, rugged terrain, Coast Guard spokesman Grant DeVuyst said. Helicopters were taking search-and-rescue teams to a beach to hike to the location where an emergency alert had sounded, he said.

Wings of Alaska flies scheduled passenger service to small southeast Alaska communities. Its services also include sightseeing trips and charters.

Company executive vice president Tim Seiber said the flight involved was a scheduled flight. There are four passengers and one crew member on board, he said.

Responders received an emergency beacon alert Friday afternoon, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard sent a helicopter and cutter to the search area around Point Couverden, about 18 miles west of Juneau. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been notified, authorities said.

At 12:53 p.m., there was light rain reported at the Juneau airport, according to the National Weather Service website.

The search comes less than one month after a sightseeing floatplane crashed in a mountainous area in southeast Alaska, killing all nine people on board. The aircraft crashed on a steep cliff June 25 about 25 miles from the town of Ketchikan. The excursion was sold through the cruise company Holland America and operated by Ketchikan-based Promech Air.