Two dead, two injured after float plane crash
TOFINO, B.C. - A transportation official says a coroner's service investigating a float plane crash in a remote Vancouver Island Park doesn't have "good prospects" of getting to the site soon because of continuing poor weather conditions.
The plane was carrying a group of hikers and crashed shortly after take-off on Friday, leaving two unharmed survivors, two injured and two dead.
RCMP Cpl. Darren Lagan said Saturday that the coroner's service is responsible for releasing the names of the victims.
Bill Yearwood, of the Transportation Safety Board, said that the coroner service, which will be using an RCMP helicopter, didn't have good prospects of getting in to the remote site because the weather's supposed to be "just as bad this morning as it was yesterday afternoon."
Lagan said the four survivors were taken to hospitals on Vancouver Island, but the officer did not know the nature of their injuries.
Yearwood said one of them was in critical condition.
The Air Nootka plane with five passengers and a pilot left Hesquiaht Lake, about 85 kilometres northwest of Tofino, on Friday morning but an emergency beacon was activated minutes after takeoff.
The plane was en route to Gold River, about 40 kilometres to the northeast.
That triggered a search that involved multiple aircraft, as well as an RCMP vessel, but difficult terrain and poor weather hampered those efforts. The plane's wreckage was later discovered just north of the lake.
Area aboriginals also helped in the search, with members of the Hesquiaht, Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht helping out on the water, shore and inland.
Air Nootka, a commercial float plane operator based in Gold River, declined to comment.
Lagan said it was a difficult search.
"It's a fairly dense forested area," he said.
There was "rain falling, there's some light wind in the area and limited visibility. The waters are described as being rough — not terribly dangerous seas, but certainly higher than you would typically see in the summer months."