British Columbia

4 dead, 5 in hospital after floatplane crash north of Vancouver Island

Four people are dead and five are in hospital after a floatplane crashed Friday off the central coast of B.C.

Rescuers challenged by remote location, bad weather

The plane crashed just after 11 a.m. PT on Addenbroke Island, about 100 kilometres north of Port Hardy, B.C., on Vancouver Island.

Four people are dead and five are in hospital after a floatplane crashed Friday off the central coast of B.C.

The Cessna 208 crashed just after 11 a.m. PT on Addenbroke Island, about 100 kilometres north of Port Hardy, B.C., on Vancouver Island. The five survivors were transported into a helicopter via hoist, and flown to hospital in Port Hardy, according to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. 

Two are in critical condition, the other three are in serious but stable condition, according to B.C. Emergency Health Services. 

The two in critical condition are being airlifted with critical care paramedic teams to Vancouver. 

One of the injured passengers from Friday's floatplane crash off the central coast of B.C. arrives in Vancouver. (Shane MacKichan)

The charter plane left Vancouver en route to Calvert Island, a few kilometres west of Addenbroke Island. No one lives on the island, but there is a lighthouse. 

This image from Seair Seaplanes website depicts a Cessna 208, the same type of aircraft involved in Friday's crash. (Seair Seaplanes)

The weather at the time of the crash was rainy with low visibility.

Several ambulance crews, including two air ambulances, two coast guard vessels and a helicopter were sent the area.

Because the crash took place along a B.C. Ferries route, the coast guard also ordered the ferry Northern Sea Wolf — which is in the area — to stop and assist in rescue operations if necessary. Its route from Port Hardy to Bella Coola usually takes 10 hours, and would have normally ended at 5:30 p.m. It's now expected by midnight.

Difficult conditions

Dubeau said the weather and remote location made it challenging for rescuers.

The charter plane was operated by Seair Seaplanes. The company says it has suspended all flights for the rest of the afternoon.

"Our thoughts are with those involved in the crash and their loved ones and are devastated by this fatal accident," the company said in a statement.

B.C. Premier John Horgan sent out a statement about the crash via Twitter. 

"Very sad to hear the news out of Addenbroke Island. My thoughts are with those affected by this tragic accident. Thank you to the coast guard, BC Ferries, medical staff & others on-scene. We'll continue to closely monitor the situation," Horgan tweeted.

Addenbroke Island is about 100 kilometres north of Port Hardy. (Rob Easton/CBC )

With files from Roshini Nair, The Canadian Press

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