A hovercraft scans the shore along DeCourcy Drive on Gabriola Island following a plane crash Tuesday night. (Greg Sakaki/The News Bulletin)

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

  • Dec. 10, 2019 7:15 p.m.

There are no survivors after a plane crashed on Gabriola Island.

The crash happened Tuesday near Ricardo Road on the northwestern corner of the island. B.C. Emergency Health Services were called out just after 6 p.m. RCMP on scene said more than one person died in the crash and no one survived.

“Through investigation it was learned that a small plane had crashed on the northwest corner of the island. RCMP members travelled to the scene and are confirming multiple fatalities from this crash,” noted the B.C. Coroners Service in a statement. “Because of the nature of plane crashes, this event will be investigated in partnership with the Transportation Safety Board, who have been notified and will be attending the scene on Dec. 11.”​

Resident Ken DeCarle was first on scene and said he knew it was a light aircraft in distress.

“The pilot fought it all the way down to the ground … I heard the aircraft in distress, I heard it hit and I was first in to the wreckage,” he said, adding that he did not wish to comment further.

Another witness, Randi Lynch, said she saw the plane going in circles and tumbling.

“And then the sky was just crazy…” she said. “A big explosion and then the whole sky here was lit up.”

All emergency services responded, with the Coast Guard and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre offering assistance. A hovercraft and its personnel were scanning the shore along DeCourcy Drive.

Merv Unger, spokesman for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Nanaimo Station 27, said in an e-mail that three vessels were standing by in case they were required. He said there were “apparently three persons on [the] plane,” which he said was reported as a Piper 60.

Daniel Pearce, director of emergency services with the Regional District of Nanaimo, said the RDN’s emergency coordinator would be meeting with the emergency social support coordinator on Gabriola Island “and from there providing incident support to the fire service as well as to the residents if anybody needs anything.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released a statement Wednesday morning, saying it is “deploying a team of investigators to the site of an accident involving a piston twin-engine aircraft on Gabriola Island … The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.”

READ ALSO: Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

According to a social media posts, the plane did not strike any houses, but may have crashed in a nearby wooded area.

Reg Megyesi posted on Facebook “a plane has just crashed behind my mother-in-law’s house. She called us concerned for her own safety. We rushed over and now there are emergency vehicles everywhere.”

Witness Paolo Gast posted he saw a plane do a low maneuver, then go straight up, then drop and “light show into ocean … sunset side of twin beach.”

READ ALSO: 442 Squadron rescues survivors of plane crash near Port Hardy

Gabriola Island is located about five kilometres east of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

With files from Canadian Press



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Good Food Boxes are packed in Gold River to go out to people of that community. Greenways is working on expanding the program to other communities including Campbell River. Photo supplied by Greenways Land Trust
Good Food Box program coming to Campbell River

Greenways’ program will provide food delivery to six communities in Strathcona area

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

Eden Robinson will be ‘on hand’ for a special online screening of Monkey Beach, based on her 2000 novel, presented by the Museum at Campbell River through the Tidemark Theatre Feb. 4. Photo by Bluetree Photography
Museum at Campbell River to screen Monkey Beach and Q&A with Eden Robinson

Last year’s Haig-Brown Writer-in-Residence’s work has skyrocketed to justifiable fame in the past year

Tahsis mayor Martin Davis stands with an old-growth tree in McKelvie Creek Valley. The village of Tahsis signed a Letter of Understanding with forestry company Western Forest Products to establish McKelvie watershed as a protected area. Photo courtesy, TJ Watt.
Landmark deal expected to protect Tahsis watershed from logging

Tahsis and WFP agree on letter of understanding to preserve McKelvie Creek Valley within TFL 19

Sawyer, a northern saw-whet owl that became synonymous with Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, passed away peacefully over the weekend. Sawyer would make numerous public appearances with MARS staff in and around the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Photo supplied.
Popular MARS ambassador owl dies

Submitted MARS Wildlife Rescue has lost one of its mightiest ambassadors. Tiny… Continue reading

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)

Most Read