Rescue effort underway after plane crashes near Fairbanks

Apr. 23—First responders were conducting an "active rescue" Tuesday morning after a plane crashed in the area of the Tanana River in Fairbanks, officials said.

Few details were immediately available about the crash. Clint Johnson, Alaska chief of the National Transportation Safety Board, said it was not clear how many people were on the Douglas DC-4 when it crashed around 10:30 a.m. shortly after departure south of Fairbanks International Airport.

Alaska State Troopers, along with local, state and federal agencies, were responding to the crash near Kallenberg Road on Tuesday morning, they said.

"Please avoid the area and expect an increased first responder presence in the area," troopers said.

A witness said he heard a loud explosion just before 10 a.m. and saw a plane overhead with an engine on fire. He said he heard what sounded like another explosion and a crash, followed by a large column of dark smoke.

A spokesman for Fairbanks International Airport urged the public to avoid the area.

"We acknowledge the ongoing situation involving the Douglas DC-4 aircraft on the Tanana River near Kallenberg Road," the airport said in a statement provided by spokesman Zak Mitchell. "Alaska State Troopers are actively leading the response and we are cooperating with them."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.