NewsDiamond mine workers killed in mystery plane crash in Canada's Northwest Territories

Diamond mine workers killed in mystery plane crash in Canada's Northwest Territories

Illustrative photo
Illustrative photo
Images source: © Getty Images | 2005 Getty Images

10:35 AM EST, January 24, 2024

The aircraft, which was carrying employees of the British-Australian mining company Rio Tinto, crashed near the city of Fort Smith in the northwest region of Canada on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The aircraft was destined for the Diavik diamond mine. The owner of the airplane, Northwestern Air Lease, hasn't specified the number of passengers on board or the casualties.

"We are working closely with authorities and will help in any way we can with their efforts to find out exactly what has happened," said Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto's Chief Executive. The airline servicing the aircraft has declined to comment, according to Reuters.

The region's chief coroner, Garth Eggenberger, said, "At this time, we can confirm there are fatalities but we will not be providing any additional information pending next of kin."

Northwest Territories Premier Rocky R.J. Simpson extended his condolences to the families of the victims. "The impact of this incident is felt across the territory," he said in a statement. "The people we lost were not just passengers on a flight; they were neighbours, colleagues, friends and loved ones. Their stories and contributions to our communities will not be forgotten," Simpson was quoted by CNN.

According to Reuters, contact was lost with the aircraft shortly after takeoff and the wreckage was found near the Slave River. Three squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force were dispatched to the crash site to support search and rescue efforts, said Maxime Cliche, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board is conducting the investigation.

Related content