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Vernon  

Fatal plane crash, local ties

A fatal plane crash near Fort St. John has an Okanagan connection.

Two people were killed in the crash on Friday of a Cessna 207 registered to Chapman Corporate Air Services Ltd. of Calgary.

While it is not yet confirmed who was on board the aircraft when it crashed on a grass strip at the Chapman Sand and Gravel pit about 4 p.m. Friday, the plane and company are believed to be connected to LB Chapman Construction of Vernon.

Transport Canada records show the plane, identified by the tail mark C-GNVZ, is registered to Chapman Corporate Air Services Ltd.

The pit where the crash occurred is owned and operated by LB Chapman Construction Ltd., which operates in the Peace Region and has head offices in Vernon.

The same plane can be seen on the company’s website.

The site describes the company as a general contractor in the field of heavy civil construction and infrastructure operating throughout British Columbia including roadworks, rock blasting, excavation and rock fall protection. 

It contracts air services with Chapman Group Aviation to ferry engineers, technical staff, crew and material to remote locations.

The company could not be reached for comment.

Transportation Safety Board spokesman Chris Krepski said the crash happened in the late afternoon, while a privately owned Cessna was taking off from a grass runway near the community of Taylor, just south of Fort St. John.

He said the plane crashed and the two people onboard were fatally injured.

Krepski added there was also a fire after the crash.

Investigators from Edmonton are on the scene this weekend, investigating the crash.

Castanet will provide more details as they become available.

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