Capt. Erik Niemi said authorities don't yet know what caused the Cessna 172 to crash at about 4 p.m. Monday on the southern half of Pitt Lake, which is located near the community of Pitt Meadows, B.C.
"One of the people on board was able to get out of the aircraft, the second person was not," he said. "Unknown cause at this time as to why they couldn't get out."
Responding to the accident were members of the RCMP, local firefighters, a coast guard hovercraft and fast-response boat, and a Cormorant helicopter from Comox, B.C., he said.
Niemi said the individual who escaped the aircraft was flown to a Vancouver-area hospital, but search-and-rescue technicians had to remove the body of the other occupant from the plane at about 5:40 p.m.
Just why one person was able to escape but the other was not remains unknown, he said.
The RCMP and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will be investigating the incident, said Niemi.