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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

New wildfire springs up north of Clinton; lightning suspected as cause

Fire is not a flare-up of blaze that started on Aug. 1 near 51 Mile Creek

Financial assistance available for victims of flooding in TNRD

Government will pay 80% of eligible claims resulting from flood damage

Clinton RCMP looking for Citizens on Patrol program volunteers

Organizer hoping to have enough people to get program started in September

Free online course aims to keep care home residents, staff safe

Course gives basic COVID-19 information and safety procedures for visitors to protect the vulnerable

Flu immunization drop-in clinics not taking place this fall

Interior Health urging people to get flu shots through pharmacies, primary care centres

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Health Canada recalling more than 50 hand sanitizers in evolving list

Organization says to stop using products listed, and to consult a health-care professional

Most Read