A seaplane crashed in Kitkatla waters on Tuesday afternoon with six passengers on board.
The Gitxaala Nation released a statement today regarding the community’s response after the crash occurred at 2:35 p.m. on May 24.
“All six occupants of the plane were safely removed from the wreckage by members of our community and the Gitxaala Marine Rescue Society Unit-74. We are grateful for the quick rescue response of everyone involved,” Keith Innes, the deputy chief councilor said in the press release.
The passengers and the pilot were removed from the wreckage within minutes of the crash and taken to the Gitxaala Nation Health Station where they were treated, Innes said. Later they were transported by boat on the Gitxaala Spirit and then medevaced to the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital for further medical assessment.
The manager of aviation accident investigations for the Transportation Safety Board, Bill Yearwood, said they will investigate what caused the accident.
“On landing it’s apparent something broke so as the aircraft settled the left wing was low and it subsequently rolled over in the water,” he said. The crash happened at 2:35 p.m.
The passengers were taken to the nursing station and two passengers are being referred for further assessment. The DeHavilland Beaver seaplane has been secured on the shoreline and the Transportation Safety Board has given Inland Air approval to retrieve it.
Inland Air recently had another incident in Masset Inlet when the charter seaplane broke its water rudder upon landing. No one was injured in this incident either. Yearwood confirmed that the crash in Kitkatla involved a different aircraft.
“When we get the component we can look at it and see if it broke prematurely or if it broke because it was just overloaded,” Yearwood said.