Plane crash in northern Canada claims 6 lives

Plane crash in northern Canada claims 6 lives

One person survives, transported to hospital

By Barry Ellsworth

TRENTON, Canada (AA) – Six people were killed in a plane crash in Canada’s far north, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Four passengers and two crew members of the aircraft registered to Northwestern Air Lease were killed in the crash on Tuesday, while one survivor was transported to a hospital in Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories (NWT).

The plane went down shortly after takeoff from Fort Smith, a tight-knit town of 2,500 people in the NWT.

"Shortly after takeoff on Runway 30, the aircraft collided with terrain. There was a post-impact fire and the aircraft was destroyed," the Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating, wrote in an initial finding, CTV News reported.

The tragedy hit Fort Smith residents hard.

“These people were treasured members of our community and their loss touches everyone,” Fort Smith’s town council said in a statement.

The council offered help Wednesday for members of the community who have been impacted by the crash. The local recreation center was opened, where residents would find “snacks, drinks and friendly faces.”

The area is so remote that the first rescuers on the scene had to parachute into the crash site.

Four of the victims were miners. The plane was headed to the Diavik Diamond Mine owned by Rio Tinto, located about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northeast of Yellowknife.

The mine is a combination of “open pit and underground mining,” according to Rio Tinto’s website.

“Our diamonds from Diavik are stunning white gems, produced to the highest possible standards of safety and integrity,” it says.

The mine has more than 1,100 employees.

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