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1 dead after plane crash near Makkovik, 1 seriously injured

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2019-05-02 CBC/Radio-Canada
a plane sitting on top of a runway: A Cormorant Helicopter refuels on the Goose Bay landing strip as search and rescue crews attempt to reach the location of the crash near Makkovik on Wednesday. © Jacob Barker/CBC A Cormorant Helicopter refuels on the Goose Bay landing strip as search and rescue crews attempt to reach the location of the crash near Makkovik on Wednesday.

One person is dead after a plane crash and harrowing ground search on Labrador's north coast.

According to a spokesperson for the Canadian Armed Forces, the man's body has made it to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, along with the second man who is now in hospital there being treated for serious injuries.

The plane crashed into the side of a mountain near Makkovik on Wednesday morning. Blizzard conditions hampered rescue efforts and prevented a Cormorant helicopter from landing near the site.

"The character and capabilities of Labradorians really kind of stood out last night," said Maj. Mark Norris. "We had real awful conditions at the crash location where our helicopter and our Hercules from [CFB] Greenwood could not get to where we had to get."

A ground search and rescue team consisting of nine people from Makkovik reached the two men by snowmobile on Wednesday evening. At the time, one was conscious while another was unconscious.

They reached Makkovik around 9 p.m., but couldn't get a helicopter out until early Thursday morning due to weather.

Norris said they were in constant communication with the survivor, from the time of the crash to the time of his rescue.

"The pilot involved here was very prepared," Norris said. "He had multiple communication systems available and we had very good contact with him throughout the incident which really helped us maintain our situational awareness and make us understand what was really happening."

Norris said the plane had come from Sept-Iles, Que., and was heading for Greenland at the time of the crash. One man was from Belgium while the other was from the United Kingdom. Norris couldn't say which man was deceased, as next of kin has yet to be located.

Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board will try to reach the site on Thursday to begin the probe into what went wrong.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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