A hovercraft scans the shore along DeCourcy Drive on Gabriola Island following a plane crash Tuesday night. (Greg Sakaki/The News Bulletin)

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

  • Dec. 10, 2019 7:15 p.m.

There are no survivors after a plane crashed on Gabriola Island.

The crash happened Tuesday near Ricardo Road on the northwestern corner of the island. B.C. Emergency Health Services were called out just after 6 p.m. RCMP on scene said more than one person died in the crash and no one survived.

“Through investigation it was learned that a small plane had crashed on the northwest corner of the island. RCMP members travelled to the scene and are confirming multiple fatalities from this crash,” noted the B.C. Coroners Service in a statement. “Because of the nature of plane crashes, this event will be investigated in partnership with the Transportation Safety Board, who have been notified and will be attending the scene on Dec. 11.”​

Resident Ken DeCarle was first on scene and said he knew it was a light aircraft in distress.

“The pilot fought it all the way down to the ground … I heard the aircraft in distress, I heard it hit and I was first in to the wreckage,” he said, adding that he did not wish to comment further.

Another witness, Randi Lynch, said she saw the plane going in circles and tumbling.

“And then the sky was just crazy…” she said. “A big explosion and then the whole sky here was lit up.”

All emergency services responded, with the Coast Guard and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre offering assistance. A hovercraft and its personnel were scanning the shore along DeCourcy Drive.

Merv Unger, spokesman for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Nanaimo Station 27, said in an e-mail that three vessels were standing by in case they were required. He said there were “apparently three persons on [the] plane,” which he said was reported as a Piper 60.

Daniel Pearce, director of emergency services with the Regional District of Nanaimo, said the RDN’s emergency coordinator would be meeting with the emergency social support coordinator on Gabriola Island “and from there providing incident support to the fire service as well as to the residents if anybody needs anything.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released a statement Wednesday morning, saying it is “deploying a team of investigators to the site of an accident involving a piston twin-engine aircraft on Gabriola Island … The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.”

READ ALSO: Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

According to a social media posts, the plane did not strike any houses, but may have crashed in a nearby wooded area.

Reg Megyesi posted on Facebook “a plane has just crashed behind my mother-in-law’s house. She called us concerned for her own safety. We rushed over and now there are emergency vehicles everywhere.”

Witness Paolo Gast posted he saw a plane do a low maneuver, then go straight up, then drop and “light show into ocean … sunset side of twin beach.”

READ ALSO: 442 Squadron rescues survivors of plane crash near Port Hardy

Gabriola Island is located about five kilometres east of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

With files from Canadian Press



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Saanich man dies from injuries after serious crash on Six Mile Road

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Vancouver Island artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Island MLA calls for cash injection for struggling tourism sector

Michelle Stilwell also pushing for moratorium on commercial evictions

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

House burns in Nanaimo neighbourhood, three people displaced

Dog unaccounted for after house fire Sunday evening

RCMP remind drivers of school zone safety as classes resume

As kids return to school, the police will be watching

BC Transit rate change, embarking rules shift into action June 1

Campbell River transit system getting a new day pass

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools reopen Monday

A common model will see other teachers work four days a week in class then the fifth remotely,

Classes in Comox Valley to look a little different in June

School district senior staff has been busy prepping for re-opening

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read