Midair collision kills state legislator, 6 others in Alaska

National and World

Seven people, including an Alaska state lawmaker, died Friday when two small airplanes collided in midair near an airport

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Seven people, including an Alaska state lawmaker, died Friday when two small airplanes collided in midair near the airport in Soldotna, on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.

Alaska State Troopers say state Rep. Gary Knopp was the sole occupant of one plane. The other plane was flown by a local pilot and carried a guide from Kansas and four people from South Carolina.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fatal accident, which occurred just before 8:30 a.m. near the airport in Soldotna.

Some debris fell onto the Sterling Highway, causing a temporary closure.

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