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Multiple fatalities confirmed after plane crash on Gabriola Island
VICTORIA -- Several people are dead after a small plane crash on the north end of Gabriola Island.
British Columbia Emergency Health Services and the RCMP say the emergency call came in around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Multiple BC Ambulance crews were dispatched to the scene; two from the island and approximately five others that arrived on Gabriola via ferry from Nanaimo.
"RCMP members travelled to the scene and are confirming multiple fatalities from this crash," the Mounties said just before 9 p.m.
"The BC Coroners Service has also been notified of multiple fatalities and is in the preliminary stages of its fact-finding investigation to determine who died, and how, where, when and by what means the deceased came to their sudden, unexpected deaths," the RCMP and coroners service said in a joint press release.
The scene is near Decourcy Drive, on the northernmost tip of the island.
The Transportation Safety Board told CTV News Vancouver Island it was notified of the crash shortly after 7 p.m.
A caller to the CTV News Vancouver Island newsroom said the plane went into a wooded area, coming to rest upside down and in several pieces. Those details have not been confirmed.
"Because of the nature of plane crashes, this event will be investigated in partnership with the Transportation Safety Board, who have been notified and will be attending the scene on Dec. 11.," said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Chris Manseau.
The TSB is deploying a team of three investigators to the area. It's expected they will arrive on Gabriola Island by 1 p.m. Wednesday.
"We’ll be getting the radar information, flight plan information on the aircraft," Jon Lee with the TSB told CTV News.
The TSB confirmed that the plane involved was a small aircraft, but was not a float plane. On Wednesday morning the TSB said the plane was a "piston twin-engine aircraft."
"We are collecting that today and will probably have an idea on the point of departure, intended arrival and of course aircraft registration and type," Lee said.
"Primarily they’ll be out collecting data, photography, taking measurements at the site, talking with eyewitnesses," Lee said.
"Our emphasis over the next couple days will be processing the accident site. But that will be just the very beginning stages of the accident investigation."
The crash scene will be secured by the Gabriola RCMP until the TSB investigators arrive.
Gabriola Island is a small island with approximately 4,000 residents just east of Nanaimo.