UPDATE May 6, 1:31 p.m.:
Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson said in a statement the contractors were out conducting infrared scans of some of the 2018 wildfires.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of everyone involved in this incident. On behalf of all British Columbians, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the three people who did not survive.”
He said the lone survivor is expected to recover.
UPDATE May 6, 12:05 p.m.:
The three men who died in the plane crash northeast of Smithers on Saturday were part of a crew contracted by the BC Wildfire Service to do aerial imaging.
“A conscious male passenger was seen outside the crash site, but due to the landscape the helicopter was unable to land,” said RCMP Sgt. Darren Durnin in a statement.
Rescuers were instead lowered from the helicopter further away and then hiked to the crash site. The survivor of the crash was taken to hospital and remains in stable condition.
UPDATE May 5, 7:10 p.m.:
A social media post from the wife of one of the victims from yesterday’s plane crash has confirmed that Lorne Borgal was a passenger on the Cessna 182 that went down near Smithers Landing yesterday.
Borgal was the former president and CEO of Hudson Bay Mountain Resort in Smithers from 2005 to 2014.
“I understand about 200 metres from the Babine River in a canyon the plane Lorne was aboard (he was not flying) crashed killing Lorne, his colleague Amir, and the pilot Pete from Lakes District Air in Burns Lake with 1 survivor,” the post reads.
UPDATE May 5, 2:53 p.m.:
Andy Watson, media contact with the BC Coroners Service, has confirmed that they are investigating three fatalities — a pilot and two passengers, while one person was airlifted to hospital in Vancouver.
UPDATE May 5, 1:40 p.m.:
TSB spokeswoman Sophie Wistaff says a pilot and three passengers were aboard, but would not confirm the number of people who died in the Saturday crash.
RCMP say at least one person was killed, but Cpl. Madonna Saunderson would not confirm the conditions of the other threeaboard.
UPDATE May 5, 9:50 a.m.:
Authorities are still not releasing any details about a fatal plane crash near Smithers landing, but the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has now joined the investigation.
A press release this morning said the TSB is deploying a team of investigators to the site of the crash to “gather information and assess the occurrence.”
According to Maritime Forces Pacific, on May 4 at around 8:45 a.m. Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received an emergency notification from an emergency locator transmitter registered to a Cessna 182.
A Cormorant search and rescue helicopter and Buffalo search and rescue fixed-wing aircraft from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox were dispatched to the scene.
Prior to the arrival of those aircraft, a helicopter from Silver King Helicopters out of Smithers located the fatal crash site approximately 50 nautical miles north of Smithers Landing (70 kilometres northeast of Smithers).
The Cormorant arrived at around 2:45 p.m. and search and rescue technicians were able to be inserted into the crash site.
The RCMP are investigating and confirmed fatalities but have not said how many, who was onboard or where they were travelling.
The Cessna 182 that crashed is capable of holding up to four passengers.
— with files from The Canadian Press