2 separate planes crashed in rural Alberta less than 24 hours apart this weekend
At least one man is dead, four people in hospital; status of one person is unknown, police say
Two separate plane crashes occurred in rural parts of Alberta less than 24 hours apart this weekend, leaving one man dead and sending several people to hospital.
The first occurred late Saturday afternoon, northeast of Lacombe, Alta., a city about 120 kilometres south of Edmonton.
Blackfalds RCMP responded to a distress beacon from a small plane around 4:45 p.m. Mounties found the downed aircraft in a remote and rural area near the intersection of Range Road 241 and Township Road 412.
Two men — the pilot and his passenger — were found in the plane.
The pilot was found dead at the scene. The passenger was extracted from the wreckage with serious injuries, RCMP say.
STARS air ambulance was dispatched to the scene after receiving reports about the crash around 5:30 p.m., a spokesperson told CBC News. The paramedics flew the passenger, who was in critical condition, to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.
The identities of both men are being held because next-of-kin have not yet been notified, RCMP say.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada sent two investigators to the scene Sunday, a spokesperson said. They will gather information, document the scene and "determine the next steps" of the investigation.
Then, late Sunday morning, a plane carrying four people near Westlock, a town almost 75 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, flipped and sustained "serious damage."
Shortly before 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Westlock RCMP responded to a plane crash at the Westlock Airport. Paramedics and firefighters also responded to the scene, police say.
There is no available information about the four people's injuries at this time, but three of the occupants were driven to hospital, police say.
The status of the fourth person is unknown, they added.
Police say Transport Canada has been notified of the second crash and will take over the investigation.
With files from Nicholas Frew