An airplane crash in Fort Smith, N.W.T, Canada claims the lives of 6 people on Tuesday according to the territory’s coroner. The coroner service confirmed on Wednesday morning that four passengers and two crew members of Northwestern Air Lease had been killed in the crash, and one person survived.
Fort Smith is located south of Yellowknife, just north of Alberta and has a population of 2,250 people. Chief coroner Garth Eggenberger and his team have waited until Wednesday to make sure of the numbers of survivors and deceased, families have been notified first.
His team will be working with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) and the RCMP to investigate the crash, although Eggenberger states that a full investigation could take up to a year.
The survivor of the crash was airlifted to Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife after being taken to Fort Smith Health Centre after the crash. An update was provided around noon today by TSB with a preliminary report stating that the crash was an accident. The agency claims that the aircraft crashed into terrain shortly after taking off at the Fort Smith Airport.
Some of the passengers on the plane, including the lone survivor, belonged to the mining firm Rio Tinto and was headed towards Diavik Diamond Mine, about 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. CEO Jakob Stausholm released a statement today regarding the crash stating:
“We are feeling numb with the devastating news that we have lost dear friends and colleagues. I extend our deepest sympathy to the families, friends, and loved ones of those who have been affected by this tragedy. I am heading to the Northwest Territories to be with our team and to offer our full support. We will be working closely with authorities over the coming days, weeks and months, to support their efforts to understand the full facts of what has happened.”
The town’s news release stated that their recreation centre was open for those who did not want to be alone during this time. The mayor and council have stated their offer to help those who are alone and are experiencing feelings of grief and despair. The TBS continues to investigate the scene.
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