Small passenger plane crashes in eastern Canada, killing 4

January 12th, 2012 - 2:20 am ICT by BNO News  

WINNIPEG, CANADA (BNO NEWS) — Four people were killed on late Tuesday morning when a small passenger plane crashed in eastern Canada, officials said on Wednesday. One person survived the crash.

The accident happened at around 10 a.m. local time when a twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft crashed near the remote First Nations community of North Spirit Lake in the northwestern region of Canada’s province of Ontario, about 175 kilometers (108 miles) north of the Red Lake gold-mining town.

Officials at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said the aircraft, which was operated by Keystone Air Service Limited, was carrying a pilot and four passengers. The aircraft was facing blizzard weather conditions when the aircraft crashed, about one kilometer (0.6 mile) short of the runway while preparing to land.

The small aircraft had taken off from Winnipeg and was en-route to a small airport in North Spirit Lake. It crashed into a frozen lake and caught fire, killing all but one person on board. The survivor, identified as Brian Shead, was taken to a Winnipeg hospital in a stable condition.

Keystone Air Service Ltd. is a charter airline which is based in St. Andrews, a rural municipality in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Reports said the aircraft was not equipped with a cockpit voice recorder nor a flight data recorder as airspace in the region is not strictly controlled. Such equipment is usually crucial to discover the cause of an accident.

In August 2011, twelve people were killed when First Air Flight 6560, a Boeing 737-200, crashed about five miles (eight kilometers) east of Resolute Bay, a small Inuit hamlet on Cornwallis Island in Canada’s Nunavut.

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