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Two aircraft collided in mid-air on Friday near the Soldotna Airport on Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, United States.

The collision led to the killing of seven people, including Gary Knopp, Alaska House of Representative, Anchorage Daily News reports.

Knopp was the only occupant in one of the planes, while the other aircraft involved in the crash was a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver that carried six people.

All were confirmed deceased on the scene except for one person that succumbed to injuries during transport to the local hospital.

It added that positive identity had been made on all occupants of both aircraft, and next of kin notifications have been made.

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Knopp, who was a certified flight instructor and registered pilot, was elected to the Alaska Legislature in 2016 after serving on the Kenai Borough Assembly.

He was a candidate in the 2020 Republican primary for House District 30.

Reacting to the development, Alaska Governor, Mike Dunleavy, described Knopp as a skilled pilot, and a dedicated public servant.

He said: “Throughout his 42 years on the Kenai Peninsula, Gary became well known as an avid outdoorsman, a skilled pilot, and a dedicated public servant.

“His presence will no doubt be missed by those he faithfully served.”

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