UPDATE: Helicopter crash claims three lives

The three men in the helicopter that crashed on the back side of Sleeping Beauty Mountain this morning are confirmed to be dead.

The three men in the helicopter that crashed on the back side of Sleeping Beauty Mountain this morning are confirmed to be dead, reported Terrace RCMP this afternoon.

Terrace RCMP, Search and Rescue Technicians from Victoria, and an avalanche technician were able to access the location of this morning’s helicopter crash.

“The avalanche technician deemed the area unsafe for emergency crew and everyone was pulled out,” says Cst Angela Rabut, media relations officer Terrace Detachment, adding that the avalanche technician remains on scene for further assessment.

“The weather is not cooperating. It is snowing and raining. When the avalanche technician has determined the area is safe, our emergency personnel will return for further investigation,” says Rabut.

The helicopter was based out of Bailey Helicopters, Fort St. John, said police.

ORIGINAL:

RESCUE CREWS are heading out to the site near Terrace where a helicopter with three people aboard went down this morning.

According to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre’s Jeff Olson, an ELT 406 Satellite Beacon on the helicopter went off on a ridge about 11 nautical miles west of Terrace this morning.

That ridge is believed to be on the back side of Sleeping Beauty Mountain.

Olson said the centre wasn’t releasing the name of the company that the helicopter belongs to or the identification of people on board, except to say it’s believed there are three people on board.

The company has another helicopter on-scene to examine the site but there were no details as to what is visible, he said.

A Canadian Armed Forces Buffalo fixed-wing aircraft and a Cormorant helicopter out of Comox are on their way and Terrace Search and Rescue have been mobilized, he added.

The Buffalo should be over the site before noon and it has search and rescue technicians on board who can parachute out of the aircraft down to the scene, said Olson.

The Cormorant helicopter can winch the people on the helicopter and rescue crews back up onto it, he said.

It’s believed the helicopter is from Bailey Helicopters, which opened a local office at the airport here back in March of this year.

After putting its feelers out, Bailey Helicopters learned there was serious interest for its services in Terrace ― coupled with incoming industrial development and the time was right for the company to make a move here. Its head office is in Fort St. John and it has offices in Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson.

The company was first established in 1989 to service the North Helmut oilfields in B.C., beginning with one Bell 47 helicopter, which is a single engine aircraft and the first kind of helicopter certified for civilian use.

It mainly services the oil and gas industry, forestry and environmental type work.

In a recent release, Terrace RCMP said it can confirm that emergency personnel have responded to a report of a helicopter crash, which has occurred approximately 15 km west of Terrace on the backside of Sleeping Beauty Mountain.

The report came in at approximately 10:45 this morning, June 1. The status of the three (3) people on board is unknown at this time, said the release.

“We are still gathering information and are in the preliminary response stage. The helicopter was based outside of Terrace and members for the Terrace RCMP and Terrace Search and Rescue are en route.” says Cst Angela Rabut, media relations officer Terrace Detachment.

Further updates will be provided when additional information can be confirmed.

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