A rescue effort was under way Thursday after a cruise excursion plane with nine people aboard crashed into a lakeside cliff on the southern tip of Alaska, state troopers said.
There was no immediate word on the conditions of those aboard.
The Alaska Division of State Troopers said the plane was reported missing about 2:06 p.m. (6:06 p.m. ET) and was spotted less than an hour later by a helicopter crew against a granite rock face about 800 feet above Ella Lake in the Misty Fjords area in Ketchikan Borough.
Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told NBC News that the DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter single-engine prop plane crashed under unknown circumstances. Weather conditions in the area Thursday were reported as heavily overcast, with winds from the southeast at 10 to 20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph.
The Holland America Line said in a statement that the plane, operated by Promech Air, a Ketchikan-based sightseeing company, was running a shore excursion for eight passengers from the MS Westerdam, which set sail from Seattle on June 20.
"We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the plane and their families," the cruise line said. "Holland America Line is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved."