Two dead, 4 hurt in helicopter crash east of Prince George

2 dead in helicopter crash

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.

Two people are dead and four hurt after a helicopter crash east of Prince George.

RCMP said in a statement the chopper went down at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday west of the city in the area of the Purden Ski Hill. Emergency personnel assembled in the parking area at the Purden Lake Resort.

“There was a total of six people on board the aircraft at the time of the incident; regrettably, two of the individuals did not survive the crash,” said Cpl. Jennifer Cooper for the Prince George RCMP.

“Our Victim Services unit is currently working with the families of the deceased, providing ongoing support. We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased in their time of mourning.”

Police said the aircraft was privately owned and had been chartered to do flights in the area.

“Further information is not available,” Cooper said.

The Transportation Safety Board is on the way to the crash scene and will investigate the cause of the crash.

The BC Coroners Service, which has already arrived at the crash, is also investigating.

UPDATE: 10:37 a.m.

BC Emergency Health Services said at least four people have been injured in a helicopter crash east of Prince George.

The service says the call came in just before 8 a.m. and six ambulances attended where paramedics treated and transported the four to hospital.

Prince George RCMP say emergency crews gathered at the site where the chopper went down near the Purden Ski Hill, a mountain resort off Highway 16.

Cpl. Jennifer Cooper said the extent of the injuries to those on board is not known, and the area around the crash site has no cellphone coverage.

Cooper said they don't know why the helicopter was in the area, but they know it was not a forestry crew aboard.

She said details on the cause of the crash are still being investigated, and the Transportation Safety Board would be taking the lead on the investigation since the accident involved an aircraft.

"It is possible that emergency crews will be accessing the highway frequently and we are asking that motorists slow down and move over to give crews room to complete whatever work they need out there," Cooper said in an interview.

"It is going to be a little bit of a challenge for emergency crews. It was in a more forested area that the helicopter crashed, so not easily accessible by emergency vehicles."

Liam Macdonald with the Transportation Safety Board said the agency is monitoring the situation and speaking with locals on the scene before deciding if it will send investigators.

– The Canadian Press

ORIGINAL: 9:10 a.m.

A helicopter has crashed near Prince George this morning.

Prince George RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Cooper says emergency services are responding to the scene near Purden Ski Hill.

Police and other emergency services were advised of the incident about 7:45 a.m.

"Our initial information indicates there were multiple people on board the aircraft," says Cooper.

"The extent of their injuries is currently unknown. We are asking that anyone driving past that area today remember to give emergency crews plenty of room to work if they are on the highway, by slowing down and moving over and to obey flagger signals."

Details of the incident are still being gathered, and more information is expected later.

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