Investigator: Removal of Alaska plane wreckage weeks away

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — It could be weeks before the wreckage of a sightseeing plane that crashed in steep, rugged terrain in southeast Alaska, killing nine people, is recovered.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson said authorities were waiting for a helicopter capable of lifting the parts to become available. He said that process could take three weeks.

Johnson said NTSB investigators were trying to wrap up their on-scene work Tuesday. He said a preliminary report on the crash could be released as early as Friday. But he said it would only contain basic information.

Eight cruise ship passengers on a flightseeing shore excursion were killed along with their pilot when their plane went down Thursday in Misty Fjords National Monument, near Ketchikan.

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