Saskatchewan

2 dead after helicopter crash north of Paynton, Sask.

Two people have died in a helicopter crash in or near the North Saskatchewan River north of Paynton, 57 kilometres northwest of North Battleford.

Chopper crashed upriver from Paynton Ferry Crossing on the North Saskatchewan River

RAW: Following a fatal helicopter crash, Kevin Shortt, deputy chief of the Lloydminster Rescue Squad, speaks with the CBC's Kathy Fitzpatrick. 0:27

Two people have died after a helicopter crashed on an island in the North Saskatchewan River.

The crash happened shortly before 2 p.m. CST Thursday near Paynton, Sask., which is about 57 kilometres northwest of North Battleford, Sask.

RCMP at the Paynton Ferry Crossing, downriver from where a helicopter crashed. Two people died in the accident. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

A 55-year-old male pilot from Campbell River, B.C., and a 30-year-old male passenger from Prince Albert, Sask., were the only two people on the helicopter when it crashed. They were pronounced dead at the scene. 

The chopper was contracted by the provincial electric utility SaskPower to access and repair power poles.

Some of the rescue workers who arrived on the scene swam to the island to help the crash victims.

At least two of the rescue workers were treated for hypothermia by STARS air ambulance crews who arrived as part of the rescue effort. No one needed to be transported to hospital. 

Battleford fire and rescue launch rescue boat. (Meridian Booster/Twitter)

Kevin Shortt, deputy chief with the Lloydminster Rescue Squad, said when rescue crews arrived at the island the chopper was on the ground and there was a small fire.

The Transportation Safety Board is deploying a team of investigators to the site.

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