NEWS
12/15/2017 10:17 EST | Updated 12/15/2017 10:17 EST

Saskatchewan Plane Crash Shows Need For Better Airstrips And Roads, First Nations Chiefs Say

No one was killed but at least five people were seriously injured and needed to be airlifted to hospital.

RCMP say a plane with 25 people on board has crashed in northern Saskatchewan shortly after taking off around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Fond du Lac airport. First responders work the crash scene near the Fond du Lac airport in a Wednesday, December 13, 2017, image posted to social media
THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook, Raymond Sanger
RCMP say a plane with 25 people on board has crashed in northern Saskatchewan shortly after taking off around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Fond du Lac airport. First responders work the crash scene near the Fond du Lac airport in a Wednesday, December 13, 2017, image posted to social media

FOND DU LAC, Sask. — First Nations chiefs say a plane crash in northern Saskatchewan demonstrates the need for upgraded runways and all-season roads in remote communities.

A West Wind Aviation turboprop crashed Wednesday night with 22 passengers and three crew members aboard a flight from Fond du Lac to Stony Rapids.

No one was killed but at least five people were seriously injured and needed to be airlifted to hospital.

Fond du Lac Chief Louie Mercredi says the crash shows the airstrip in the fly-in community must be upgraded.

We as leaders need to sit down with the province regarding all-season roads and upgrades to our runways.Louie Mercredi, Fond du Lac chief

He says the community has one of the shortest runways in northern Saskatchewan, even though the size of planes using the airstrip continue to grow.

Mercredi says they could also use an all-season road so people have a choice about whether they want to fly in and out of the community.

"We as leaders need to sit down with the province regarding all-season roads and upgrades to our runways," Mercredi said.

There is an ice road in the winter, but the chief says many people still fly.

Prince Albert General Council vice-chief Chris Jobb said similar concerns need to be addressed in other remote Saskatchewan communities such as Wollaston Lake and Hatchet Lake.

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