3 Dead In Float Plane Crash In Labrador

Three people are dead following the crash of an Air Saguenay plane into a Labrador lake on Monday night.

The chief executive of Air Saguenay confirmed the deaths on Tuesday morning and said the fate of four other people aboard is unclear.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax got a call at 11:30 p.m. AT that a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver float plane was overdue.

Seven people were on board, heading from a fishing lodge near Crossroads Lake, near the Quebec border, to a remote camp on Mistastin Lake in northern Labrador.

The group was scheduled to be back at Crossroads Lake by 6 p.m. AT Monday, but did not return. A Hercules airplane was put in the air as soon as the call came into JRCC. The Hercules spotted the wreckage at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Air Saguenay has directed a second plane to fly to Mistastin Lake to help with the search for possible survivors.

Maj. Mark Gough of the Armed Forces said it’s too early to make assumptions about the fate of the missing.

“We don’t know that yet. We won’t know until our guys are on the ground in the next little while and they do the search for any possible survivors.”

CBC News and Radio-Canada had previously reported airline chief executive Jean Tremblay said there were four deaths. Tremblay later said the confusion stemmed from a miscommunication with the Armed Forces.

There were four passengers, two guides and one pilot on board. Around 11 a.m. local time, Gough said next of kin were still being notified.

The cause of the crash is unknown. Officials with the Transportation Safety Board have been called in.

It’s the third fatal crash since 2010 of a DHC-2 Beaver belonging to Air Saguenay.

One crashed into a mountainside near Lake Péribonka, Que., in bad weather on July 16, 2010. Four of the six people on board were killed.

In 2015, an Air Saguenay flight crashed into a remote wooded area near Les Bergeronnes, Que., killing all six onboard.