New information emerges about the near-fatal northern Sask. crash

The plane descended into trees and terrain with a wrecking path of at least a quarter of a kilometre, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Officials will continue to interview witnesses and the aircraft operator

The area where the plane crashed has been sectioned off by authorities. (Courtesy The StarPhoenix)

New details are emerging about the West Wind Aviation ATR 42 aircraft that crashed into trees and terrain in Fond-du-Lac, Sask., on Wednesday night.

The aircraft crashed upright but tilted heavily to the right. In its path, it cleared at least a quarter of a kilometre of forest, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).
"Everyone was screaming we're stuck," remembered the lone flight attendant aboard West Winds Aviation's flight 280. It crashed on December 13, 2017, almost immediately after takeoff. Transportation Safety Board investigators later took this photo of the wreckage. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada)

The TSB release indicates the plane's body appeared to rupture at row three, leaving several passengers and one crew member with serious injuries.

Twenty-five people were on board at the time.

To date, the TSB has completed its initial survey of the accident scene. The flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder, and emergency locator transmitter were retrieved. 

West Wind made the call to ground the other ATR aircraft on its fleet until further notice.

Several representatives from the plane's French-Italian manufacturer, a French investigative body and the TSB continue to probe the accident.

In coming weeks, the investigation will include:

  • Additional site surveying
  • Aircraft device examination
  • Weather condition analysis
  • Gathering radar information
  • Obtaining aircraft maintenance records
  • Witness interviews

The investigation could take up to one year to complete.