01/23/2012 01:23 EST | Updated 03/24/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. plane crash leaves 4 in stable condition

All four people on board a small plane that crashed near Alexis Creek, west of Williams Lake, B.C., on Sunday have survived and are in stable condition, Search and Rescue personnel say.

The Cessna 210 was reported overdue Sunday afternoon after leaving the Springhouse airstrip near Williams Lake at about 8:30 a.m. PT.

The plane missed a routine radio check-in to the Cariboo Fire Centre around 9:30 a.m. and its on-board beacon signalled something was wrong, said RCMP Cpl. Annie Linteau.

"The aircraft's beacon was reported to be relaying an intermittent signal, indicating a hard landing or a crash. So resources were dispatched to the area in an attempt to locate the aircraft," said Linteau.

A helicopter began searching for the Cessna and a CC-115 Buffalo from 19 Wing Comox was dispatched by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria to the Big Creek Provincial Park.

The crashed plane was located by the Search and Rescue crew in Big Creek Park around 1:40 p.m., about 45 kilometres south of Hanceville, B.C., off Highway 20.

Strong winds made rescue difficult

Sgt. Dave Knubley of Search and Rescue said two members parachuted down to the crash site and found all four people on board had survived. Three had less severe injuries and were taken by a private helicopter to hospital in Williams Lake.

The fourth person, who was more seriously injured, was extracted several hours later and also taken to hospital.

Knubley said the rescue was made difficult with strong surface winds of over 40 km/h.

"The jump was challenging due to the high winds and turbulence,” said Knubley.

"Once on the ground, we stabilized the most seriously injured person, loaded him onto a litter and prepared the landing zone."

Police said it's believed the four people on board had been conducting moose counts in the area.

The Transportation Safety Board has been advised of the incident and will investigate to determine the cause of the crash.