No fatalities reported as of late Wednesday night, but some seriously injured in Saskatchewan crash
CBC News Posted: Dec 13, 2017 8:43 PM CT Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017 11:14 PM CT
All 25 passengers onboard the West Wind Aviation flight that crashed shortly after taking off from the Fond-du-Lac, Sask., airport Wednesday night “have been accounted for and removed from the scene of the crash,” the RCMP said late Wednesday.
There were no fatalities, RCMP added in a 10:30 p.m. CST news release.
“There was no explosion or fire. A number of people have suffered injuries, some serious enough to require air ambulance services which are currently en route,” the release said.
The ATR-42 plane took off from the airport at around 6:15 p.m. CST. Onboard were 22 passengers and three crew members — two pilots and a flight attendant.
‘Anxious and unsettled’
Darryl McDonald of Louisdale, N.S., said both his mother Ernestine and sister Brenda were on the flight. They were flying to Prince Albert, Sask., for medical appointments.
“Her face is all injured from impact,” he said of his mother. “My sister, she’s got cuts and possibly a broken leg. There was a young man with cerebral palsy. He was pinned but luckily they got him out.”
“I really feel anxious and unsettled,” McDonald added. “I just hope and pray that everyone is OK.”
Officers from Stony Rapids are helping at the scene alongside local emergency responders.
“Additional emergency/rescue resources are on the way to the scene from Royal Canadian Air Force and Search and Rescue,” an earlier RCMP release said.
Ralph Goodale, the federal minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, tweeted about the rescue effort, lauding the first responders.
First responders are remarkable, on the scene w/ skill+courage to deal w/ emergencies – like plane crash tonight near Fond du Lac (2/2)
— Ralph Goodale (@RalphGoodale) December 14, 2017
Fond-du-Lac resident Raymond Sanger was at the community’s bingo hall with his son when his son got a call about the crash.
The pair rushed to the site and saw a few people who were trapped and had to be wrestled from the bent aircraft.
1 km from airstrip
RCMP members found the plane less than one kilometre from the airstrip. Fond-du-Lac is a remote fly-in community of about 900 people in the northern part of the province.
“Right now our primary concern remains with the passenger and crew that we’re trying to look after right now,” said Rick Philipenko, the chief financial officer of Saskatoon-based West Wind Aviation.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada will investigate the crash.
Environment Canada’s forecast for Fond-du-Lac Wednesday night called for cloudy conditions with a 30 per cent chance of flurries and a low of –19 C.