February 22, 2024

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Plane crash in Fort Smith, Canada: 6 people from a flight carrying Rio Tinto employees are killed in the Northwest Territories

Plane crash in Fort Smith, Canada: 6 people from a flight carrying Rio Tinto employees are killed in the Northwest Territories



CNN

Four passengers and two crew members were killed when a plane bound for a diamond mine crashed in Canada's Northwest Territories, authorities said Wednesday.

The sole survivor of the Tuesday morning crash was initially taken to Fort Smith Health Center and then transported via medevac to Stanton Regional Hospital in Yellowknife, the Northwest Territories Coroner Service said in a statement. The survivor's condition has not been publicly announced.

The coroner's office said the plane was “en route from Fort Smith to the Diavik Diamond Mine” when the accident occurred. Global mining company Rio Tinto said it had employees on board.

The company said: “The authorities informed us that a plane that was on its way to our Diavik mine, with a number of our employees on board, crashed near Fort Smith, in the Northwest Territories of Canada, resulting in deaths.” In a statement on Wednesday.

Fort Smith is located on the border with Alberta.

“As a company, we are absolutely devastated by this news and offer our full support to our people and the community who are grieving today,” Rio Tinto CEO Jacob Stasholm said in the statement. “We are working closely with the authorities and will assist in any way we can in their efforts to find out exactly what happened.”

CNN has reached out to Rio Tinto for more information.

The Northwest Territories Forensic Service said its representatives are working with local authorities to reach the crash site and begin the recovery process.

“The NWT Forensic Service would like to express our condolences to the families and community of Fort Smith during this extremely tragic and difficult time,” the statement read.

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On Tuesday morning, Canadian Rangers and the Royal Canadian Air Force responded to a report of a loss of contact with an aircraft out of Fort Smith. David Lavallee, RCAF spokesman in Winnipeg, said: CNN Canada news partner CBC News.

Visibility was poor during the early hours of Tuesday morning, but improved by about 10 a.m., according to CNN's weather team.

Fort Smith Health Center activated its mass infection protocol around 8:50 a.m. Tuesday, according to the center. Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force also responded. Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board were also sent to Fort Smith after the accident.

The plane in question is a British Jetstream registered with Northwestern Air Lease, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. Transportation Safety Board of CanadaWhich said it was investigating the incident. The plane can carry up to 19 passengers, according to Northwestern Air Lease website.

Two of the crew members worked for Northwestern Air Lease, the coroner's office said. CNN has reached out to Northwestern Air Lease for comment.

R. J. Simpson, Chief Minister of the Northwest Territories, Issue a statement Expressing his condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of those on board. He also encouraged affected residents to seek support and use Mental health resources Provided by the government.

“The impact of this incident is being felt throughout the region,” Simpson said. “The people we lost were not just passengers on a flight; They were neighbours, colleagues, friends and loved ones. “Their stories and contributions to our communities will never be forgotten.”

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This story has been updated with additional information.