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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Commercial plaza proposed for Rocky Creek and Ludlow intersection

Town Council directed the application proceed for further consideration

Symphony pop-up concerts coming to Saltair

Only 40 tickets available so get them soon if you’re interested

South Wellington Elementary demolition not taking place next school year

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School trustees vote against razing south-end school in 2020/21

One piper piping during the pandemic

Tribute to health care workers reaches the 100th performance

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read