The female passenger in a Cessna 172 died when the small plane crashed in Crawford Bay, B.C., east of Nelson. The pilot was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

The Cessna 172 was near the Crawford Bay Airport in the Kootenays Saturday night when it went down on the Kokanee Springs Golf Course.

Paul Hindson and some friends rushed to the burning plane to help.

"We were playing tennis," he said. "We heard the crash, We were only about 1,000 feet away. We immediately rushed to the scene, found an airplane upside down and on fire."

"Myself and a couple of friends immediately raced to the plane. There was a paramedic there, and we were able to get the occupants out," Hindson said.

Crawford Bay plane crash

People playing tennis near the golf course where the plane went down in flames rush to the scene to help. (submitted by Ingrid Baetzel)

Hindson says the plane's female passenger was already dead while the pilot was barely conscious and badly burned.

"It was just a really sad situation," he said. "I guess the only thing I can bring out of it is that I took a terrible risk, and I'm very lucky to be alive myself."  

"On the other hand, several other people really took a risk to get these people out of the plane... Within three or four minutes—it was almost like a movie scene—it exploded in flames, and the area we were working to get these people out was completely engulfed."

Hindson said he thinks the plane was registered in Edmonton. No names have been released.

On mobile? Click here for map of Crawford Bay, B.C.