The Dryden Observer

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Five perish, two survive in Bearskin crash

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Members of the Transportation Safety Board investigate the wreckage of Bearskin Airlines flight 311 on the afternoon of Nov. 11. Photo by Lindsay Briscoe/Northern Sun News

From the Northern Sun News

A 50-year old female and a 29-year old male, both from Winnipeg, are the sole survivors of a plane crash near Red Lake, Nov. 10

Five deceased have been confirmed including the two male pilots: a 25-year old from Mississauga and a 34-year old from Winnipeg, and three passengers: a 53-year old female, a 53-year old male, and a 64-year old female all from Red Lake. The identities of the deceased have not yet been confirmed.

Bearskin Airlines flight 311 – a Metro Fairchild 19 passenger plane – had departed Sioux Lookout and was approaching the Red Lake airport when it went down about 2 miles south of Red Lake just after 6:30 p.m. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has confirmed there was light snow, a northwest wind at 10 knots and a ceiling of about 2,000 feet at the time of the accident.

Members of the OPP Red Lake Detachment including the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), as well as members of the Red Lake Fire Department and ambulance responded to the location in the area of the Red Lake airport. Transportation Safety Board investigators are en route to Red Lake and expected to arrive around 1 or 2 p.m. on Nov. 11. OPP will remain on scene to assist in the investigation.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt expressed her condolences through Twitter: “My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragic air accident near Red Lake last evening. Thank you to first responders.”

As of the morning of Nov. 11, Highway 125 between Balmertown and Cochenour was still closed. A detour has been set up through McMarmac in Cochenour and Nungesser Rd. About 900 people initially lost power as six hydro poles were knocked down in the crash. On Monday Hydro One crews worked to restore power to 300 customers.

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