Support session planned for Gabriola Island residents in wake of plane crash
The scene of a small plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Dec.11, 2019. A plane that one witness describes as crashing in a "huge explosion" that left multiple people dead in British Columbia has been identified as a twin-engine propeller aircraft. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paolo Gastaldello
VICTORIA -- A trauma support session has been organized for the residents of Gabriola Island in the wake of Tuesday's fatal plane crash on the island.
The session, organized by the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), is intended for residents of the Decourcy Drive area where the plane came down in a fiery wreck, killing all on board.
"You've got to be able to find a safe place to be able to express your feelings, not suppress them," said Gabriola Island trustee Kees Langereis on Thursday.
"When such a tragedy occurs, people react differently, people have a different timeline. Some people respond immediately and need support immediately; others may not."
Langereis said the prevailing emotions on the island Thursday are still "shock and fear," both among residents and first responders.
Island resident Bette Lou Hagen, who heard the plane spiralling out of the sky and into the wooded area behind her home Tuesday night, told CTV News on Thursday she was shaken by the ordeal.
"My daughter and son-in-law had to come stay with me all night," she said.
A registered trauma psychologist will be leading the seminar Thursday night, according to a notice issued by the RDN.
"This is a session on how to help yourself as well as your family and friends," says the notice posted on the island.
"It's really an opportunity to express your feelings in a safe environment," Langereis said.
The seminar is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Gabriola Fire Hall at 730 Church St.