Five dead in plane crash on Vancouver Island

/ Source: The Associated Press

A small plane crashed Sunday on northern Vancouver Island, killing five people, but two survivors were rescued after one of them sent a friend text messages giving their location.

Lt. Cmdr. Gerry Pash of the Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre said one of the survivors was injured and the other was in good condition. They were flown to the town of Comox, where they were met by an ambulance helicopter.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

The Pacific Coastal Airlines plane was on a 30-minute flight between Port Hardy and Chamiss Bay. It went down 10 minutes into the flight outside Port Hardy just after 7:00 a.m.

Spencer Smith of Pacific Coastal Airlines said the company did not immediately know the cause of the crash.

Passenger texts friend
One of the passengers sent a friend text messages about where the plane went down. The friend then relayed the information to rescue crews, but it took several hours for them to find the crash site.

Authorities said the plane went down on a hillside dense with foliage, making it difficult to locate.

In one text message to his friend, the survivor said he was on a mountain and could see the rescue aircraft.

Pash said the survivor's cell phone could be credited for bringing rescue crews to the crash location.

"It was less efficient than having the plane's electronic transmission locator working, but more efficient than not having any information," he said. "This is one of those searches that could have gone on for days had we not had the cell phone's stuff."