VICTORIA — Four people have been confirmed dead with five others injured in a float plane crash on an uninhabited island off the northern end of Vancouver Island.
Lt. Chelsea Dubeau with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria said they received word Friday that a Cessna 208 float plane had crashed on Addenbroke Island, about 100 kilometres off the northern end of Vancouver Island.
The centre said the chartered plane that had nine people aboard crashed at about 11 a.m. It was headed to Calvert Island, a significantly larger neighbouring island, it said.
“Unfortunately we can confirm at this time that there are four individuals that are deceased,” Dubeau said.
B.C. Emergency Health Services said two of the survivors were airlifted to hospital in Vancouver in serious condition, while three others were taken to a local hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
Spokeswoman Shannon Miller said paramedic ground crews and two air ambulance critical care teams had been staged in Port Hardy for survivors of the crash.
Critical care teams are made up of paramedics with the highest level of specialized training, with a focus on acute medical emergencies and air medical responses, she added.
Seair Seaplanes, which offers daily charter flights and scenic tour flights in British Columbia, said in a statement that the “serious accident” involved one of its Caravan float planes.
“Our thoughts are with those involved in the crash and their loved ones and are devastated by this fatal accident. We are currently working with first responders and authorities and have immediately suspended all flights,” the statement said.
BC Ferries vessel happened to be nearby
The company said it would provide updates as details become available and its focus was on working with authorities to provide whatever support is needed.
Dubeau said the BC Ferries vessel Northern Sea Wolf was on scene quickly because it was nearby and a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter, Cormorant helicopter and Buffalo fixed-wing plane were all dispatched to lend assistance.
Dubeau said no one lives on Addenbroke Island, although there is a lighthouse on the island.
The island is on the route the ferry takes from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert.
Chris Krepski, a spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board, said the board was gathering information before deciding what its next steps would be.
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