All 25 passengers aboard a two-engine plane headed for a small town in northern Canada survived after the aircraft crashed into a field about a half-mile away from the airstrip.
The harrowing incident took place on Wednesday night, when a West Wind Aviation flight crashed shortly after taking off from the Fond-du-Lac airport in Saskatchewan, CBC News reported. In a statement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police noted that all 25 passengers “have been accounted for and removed from the scene of the crash” and revealed that there were no fatalities.
“There was no explosion or fire,” the RCMP said in a news release. “A number of people have suffered injuries, some serious enough to require air ambulance services which are currently en route.”
Onboard the ATR-42 plane were 22 passengers, two pilots, and a flight attendant. One of the passengers is an infant. They were headed to Stony Rapids when the plane crashed; investigators have yet to determine the cause of the accident.
“With that many people on a plane, there are injuries,” Staff Sgt. Rob Embree at the RCMP headquarters in Regina told CTV News shortly after the crash. “Right now, that’s what we’re focusing on so basically it’s a rescue effort happening at this time.”
Raymond Sanger, a Fond-du-Lac resident, arrived at the scene of the crash as soon as he heard about it and followed the sound of people screaming to the crash site.
“They were all pinned inside between chairs and seats and all that,” Sanger told the outlet. “We cut some metal and broke some metals so that we could get these people out.”
Transport Minister Marc Garneau offered sympathies for those affected by the accident and indicated that a probe would take place.
“We will cooperate fully with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s investigation into this accident,” he said. “Transport Canada is appointing a minister’s observer who will keep me informed of the investigation’s progress.”