A small commuter plane carrying workers to a Rio Tinto mine in snow-covered Canada’s far north crashed shortly after takeoff Tuesday, killing six people.
Australian mining giant Rio Tinto said the plane “crashed on its way to the Diavik mine carrying many of our people”. Their lives have been lost in this.
An aviation source, who did not want to be named, said one person survived the crash.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Trenton, Ontario, said the plane lost contact shortly after takeoff from Fort Smith, 320 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of the regional capital Yellowknife, at 8:50 a.m. local time.
Canadian rangers on snowmobiles (motor sleds) located the wreckage, and search and rescue technicians parachuted to the scene.
Northwestern Air, which operates the Jetstream twin turboprop airliner, said the charter flight crashed 1.1 kilometers (0.7 mi) short of the end of the runway.
All flights out of Fort Smith have been suspended until Wednesday. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has deployed a team to investigate the accident.
Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stosholm expressed his “deepest condolences and sympathies” to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims.