Douglas C-54 plane with 2 people on board crashes into river outside Fairbanks, Alaska

Douglas C-54 plane crashes

A Douglas C-54 Skymaster airplane carrying two people crashed into the Tanana River near Fairbanks on Tuesday and burst into flames, authorities said. No survivors have been found.

The plane took off in the morning from Fairbanks International Airport. It crashed about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from there and “slid into a steep hill on the bank of the river where it caught fire,” according to Alaska State Troopers.

The C-54 is a military version of the Douglas DC-4, which was a World War II-era airplane. The website www.airlines.net said standard passenger seating for a DC-4 was 44 during its heyday, but most have been converted to freighters.

The Federal Aviation Administration described the plane as a Douglas C-54. Troopers identified it as a DC-4.

The National Transportation Safety Board was sending investigators to the site, said Clint Johnson, chief of the NTSB’s Alaska regional office.

Johnson said it remained unclear what happened in the time between the takeoff and the crash but the tower operator “saw a large plume of smoke.”

Further information such as the flight's purpose and destination was not immediately available.

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