Four people are dead after a plane crashed in the North Spirit Lake Reserve north of Dryden, Ont., during a snowstorm Tuesday morning.

One man survived the crash and local residents raced to the crash site, attempting to douse the burning wreck with snow.

"It wouldn't go out," Darcy Keesick of the North Spirit Lake First Nation told The Canadian Press. "They couldn't do it anymore because the snow was starting to get saturated with fuel."

Five people, including the pilot, were aboard flight BZ 213 from Winnipeg when the plane crashed at about 10 a.m.

Local school official Eric Feldman told CTV News Channel that two of the four people killed in the crash were related to a teacher on the reserve. Band worker Martha Campbell was also among the dead.

The lone survivor has been identified as 36-year-old Brian Shead, who works for Aboriginal Strategies Inc. He was taken to a hospital in Winnipeg and treated for facial injuries.

His wife, Tracy Shead, had initially thought he had been killed. She told CTV Winnipeg she was "very, very relieved and I can't wait to see him."

Feldman said the area had been hit by heavy snow.

"The weather was absolutely horrible from probably about 7 this morning," Feldman said, describing blizzard conditions that made it virtually impossible to see.

Feldman said he made note of the conditions when the school secretary informed him early Tuesday that she was planning on meeting some arrivals at the airport.

"I said to myself: 'How can a plane land in this?' And that was hours before the crash."

Maggie Kakegamic, a band councillor for the community of about 400, told The Canadian Press that everyone is in shock.

George Riopka, spokesman for Winnipeg-based Keystone Air Service, said it was too soon to know what caused the crash.

Transportation Safety Board officials have been dispatched to investigate.