NEWS

4 dead in Kenora lake ice mishap

03/26/2012 11:11 EDT | Updated 05/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Four Kenora, Ont., residents are dead after they apparently crashed through the deteriorating ice on Selkirk Lake.

The body of Robert Kantimere, 55, of Kenora was spotted by a trapper on the ice at Selkirk Lake on Thursday, the Ontario Provincial Police said today.

Three others were located on the weekend by police divers.

Police identified the deceased as Edward Everson, 53, Chris Mainville, 42, and Diana Otto, 43, all of Kenora.

OPP Const. Ronni Grosenick said underwater search and recovery divers had to break through ice to recover three of the victims.

Vehicle on shore

Grosenick told CBC News there was a vehicle and other items on the shore that indicated there were more people who had been with Kantimere.

"There was a hole in the ice near him, where he was. How he ended up on the ice and they ended up in the water is unknown," she said.

Grosenick said she has never had to deal with a tragedy of this magnitude in Kenora.

Police said they don't know why the four were on the lake, but they warned that recent warm weather has made frozen lakes treacherous.

"Our members that attended the scene said that the ice was deteriorating as they stood there," said Grosenick. "It was honeycombed, and it was deteriorating by the hour."

Community is devastated

Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield said the community is devastated.

"Four different families," Canfield said. "Obviously they're known by a lot of people and it's an awful blow and at the same time I think, an eye-opener too."

Canfield said ice on area lakes has deteriorated so quickly this year that no one should venture there.

Kenora-area resident Paul Batiuk told CBC News he was acquainted with some of those involved and played hockey with one of them.

"It's kind of shocking," he said.

Ice on Selkirk Lake has been deteriorating because of record warm weather.

"I guess they were just out fishing out on this little lake and … went through," said Batiuk, adding some of the victims worked together at a lumber and hardware store in Kenora.

Selkirk Lake is about 25 kilometres north of Kenora.

MORE:cbcNews