Four dead in mid-air collision north of Whistler, B.C.
Published Saturday, June 29, 2013 6:15PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 30, 2013 7:18AM EDT
Four people are dead after a small plane and a glider collided mid-air just outside Pemberton, B.C. near a full campsite on Saturday afternoon.
Whistler RCMP Sgt. Rob Knapton said police received several 911 calls about the crash at approximately 12:20 p.m. after a powered glider and a small Cessna 150 collided near Nairn Falls provincial campground near Pemberton, about 50 kilometres north of Whistler.
"Both planes came down to the ground along with some debris," Knapton told reporters. He said both the Cessna and the glider caught on fire at "some point" but said he was unsure if the blaze on the planes had started before or after they hit the ground.
Debris from the crash was strewn across both sides of the Green River in the park and in a number of campsites. Knapton said no campers were injured.
"We're thankful just that with a full campsite like this that nobody on the ground here actually got hurt by some of the debris that came down," Knapton told reporters.
Remnants from the front and tail of the Cessna were scattered around the wooded areas of the provincial park, and a section of the glider hung from a tree.
Knapton said emergency crews have recovered four bodies but could not confirm “if that’s the entire amount if there’s any others.”
The Cessna and the glider were both two-seater aircrafts. Each plane was carrying two passengers, Second Lt. Erin Edwards of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre told The Canadian Press.
One victim is said to be from the Pemberton Soaring Centre, a locally owned company that offers guests an opportunity to take scenic flights on a glider, according to its website.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada will send a team of investigators to the scene of the crash and take over the investigation.
Access to the campgrounds is now restricted to registered campers.
No information about the victim's identities or the planes’ origins have been released.