Sad news indeed.
RIP and God bless the victims.
North-Wright Airways was the airline involved (a 5T
partner) on a flight headed to Fort Good Hope. The article doesn't list the aircraft type, but I believe North-Wright flies Twin Otters and Carvans/Grand Caravans.
They were on their way to attend the funeral of a drowning victim when the small commercial plane went down in a mountainous region.
The crash site was discovered Wednesday morning.
Police have not yet identified the victims, but relatives listed them as adults Gary Grandjambe, Kenny Stewart and Alfred Mazazumi, teenager Farrah Grandjame and Judith Pierrot, a young child.
The pilot of the plane also died in the crash. The tragedy has shaken the region.
"There's people gathered everywhere, the families and stuff,'' said the woman from Norman Wells who named the victims. She did not wish to be identified, but said one of the victims was a cousin and another was a nephew.
"We've been talking to people in Fort Good Hope and they're just totally in shock. The whole region (is related).''
She said many residents of Norman Wells were already flying out to Fort Good Hope -- a community of about 600 people located about 800 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife -- to spend time with relatives grieving the loss.
So far, there has been no word on what may have caused the crash.
The plane belonged to North-Wright Airways. It left Fort Good Hope with five passengers and a pilot, and was scheduled to arrive in Norman Wells at 1:15 p.m., the RCMP said.
Search and rescue efforts began when the plane had still not arrived by almost 3 p.m.
"When the plane was reported missing, several planes were sent up from Norman Wells -- commercial planes -- to search for it,'' said RCMP Sgt. Larry O'Brien.
"In addition, a helicopter left Norman Wells with one of the local RCMP members on board, and it was these planes that were able to find the crash.''
The plane was found with the help of an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal that aided searchers to locate the crash site.
One of the victims, 17-year-old Farrah Grandjambe, kept a blog that provides a window into her life.
"Well as for me, I am a little Native from the North that use to live in a very small community but moved away for my last years in high school," she wrote.
"I currently live in a big house with a whole load of natives, and it gets pretty crazy in there if you know what I mean lol. Yes yes and me I am a bit skinny, with long hair (I guess you can say median) light, very light brown skin, and dark/light brown eyes."
Several friends and relatives posted their condolences on the site.
"Farrah. As much as I want to cry. It won't do a thing about this. It would just break me more into small pieces," wrote Shawna Cook.
"I just love you so much and miss you a lot. Your my favourite cousin and it will always be that way babe. I love you."
Brooke Harley wrote: "I think of you every second of the day and will always miss your friendly kind smile. I especially will miss all the good times we had together but we will see each other in another life."
John Lee, western regional manager of the Transportation Safety Board, said investigators will be travelling to the region Friday morning. Initially, the RCMP and TSB conduct parallel investigations into plane crashes. Once the RCMP has determined there was no criminal involvement, the TSB typically takes over the investigation, Lee said.
The TSB has already sent several staff members to the area, both to help with policing and to deal with the crash -- which is straining the limited resources of the small RCMP detachments in the area.
On New Year's Eve, 2001, four people died as the result of another plane crash near Fort Good Hope.
Three people initially survived when the Cessna 172 went down, but died from exposure before they were found by rescuers.
The plane crashed into a snow-covered mountainside, and pilot error was eventually determined to be the cause.
With files from The Canadian Press