Two people were killed and four injured when a float plane carrying hikers crashed Friday in a remote area on the west coast of Vancouver Island in Canada, officials said.
The crash site was found around 3 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET) about three miles north of the takeoff point, following a search operation that took longer than four hours, hampered by treacherous terrain and low visibility.
The plane was carrying the pilot and five passengers. Cpl. Darren Lagan of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the CBC that two people were killed and four were injured. A Transportation Safety Board spokesman told the Vancouver Sun two of the survivors were badly hurt.
Five hikers had chartered the plane from Air Nootka and were headed to Gold River, the Sun reported.
Greg Menzies, a spokesman for the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Victoria, British Columbia, said the single-engine DeHavilland Beaver took off from Hesquiat Lake, north of Tofino. The surrounding Hesquiat Peninsula Provincial Park can only be accessed by boat or float plane.
Shortly after, the pilot issued a mayday call.
"We don't know what was said," Menzies said, adding that the signal was lost soon after.
The Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre was alerted around 10:30 a.m. local time and dispatched several aircraft.
Poor weather complicated the search, Menzies said, and the crash site wasn't located until about 3 p.m. local time.
First published August 16 2013, 6:04 PM