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Airline Involved in 2 Deadly Alaska Crashes Suspends Operations, Officials Say

An airline whose planes were involved in two deadly crashes in one week in a remote part of Alaska has voluntarily suspended operations, the Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday.

The airline, Taquan Air, which sells sightseeing tours to cruise ship passengers and also carries passengers and cargo across rural Alaska, suspended operations after a crash on Monday that killed two people, the authorities said. Six others were killed in a midair collision involving one of its planes last week.

The most recent crash occurred when a small floatplane, a de Havilland Beaver, flipped over upon landing on Metlakatla Harbor, south of Ketchikan, in southeast Alaska, the F.A.A. said. Taquan Air did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Both people on the plane were killed: the pilot, whose name has not been released, and an epidemiologist identified Tuesday by her employer, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, as Sarah Luna.

Deanna Thomas, a spokeswoman for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, said the authorities would not disclose whether Ms. Luna and the pilot were recovered alive. But in a statement Monday, the local government said that both were brought to the Annette Island Service Unit in Metlakatla after the crash.

Ms. Luna, a liver disease and hepatitis specialist, had been flying to Metlakatla to visit patients at that same medical center, Andy Teuber, the chairman and president of the health consortium, said in a statement.

“She was an up and coming research professional, who embodied the characteristics most valuable to our team and was truly committed to improving the health and well-being of Alaska Native people,” Mr. Teuber said.

An F.A.A. spokesman said the agency and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the most recent crash.

Last week’s crash killed six people — one pilot and five cruise ship passengers — when a Taquan Air plane collided in midair with a smaller plane. Ten others were injured.

The passengers on both planes had been on a Royal Princess cruise ship for a seven-day journey billed as a “Voyage of the Glaciers,” the cruise line said.

N.T.S.B. investigators said last week that the Taquan plane, a DHC-3T Turbine Otter, descended by several hundred feet and collided with the smaller plane, which had been flying at a more stable altitude.

The other plane, a DHC-2 Beaver owned by Mountain Air Service, was carrying four passengers and one pilot, the N.T.S.B. said.

After the crash last week, Taquan Air said in a statement on Facebook that it was “devastated over the loss of all those involved.”

“Ketchikan and Alaska’s aviation community are a family and we feel this loss together,” the statement said.

“Taquan has resumed flightseeing tours, scheduled and chartered flights so that Alaskans living in our rural regions have the service they depend on,” it added.

The airline did not post a statement to social media after this week’s crash. On Tuesday, its Instagram and Twitter accounts appeared to be deactivated.

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