NewsTragic skies: Fatal plane crash rocks Northwest Territories

Tragic skies: Fatal plane crash rocks Northwest Territories

Tragic skies: Fatal plane crash rocks Northwest Territories
Images source: © GETTY | Matt Jelonek

12:45 PM EST, January 24, 2024

In a solemn event shaking the Northwest Territories, a small plane with workers of the global mining group Rio Tinto crashed near Fort Smith, causing fatalities. This tragic incident occurred during a flight to the Diavik diamond mine, marking a sombre moment for the region and the company.

A Community in Mourning

The profound impact of this disaster resonates throughout the Northwest Territories. Premier R.J. Simpson encapsulated the communal grief, highlighting that the victims were not merely passengers but integral members of their communities - neighbours, colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Their absence leaves a void in the fabric of these tight-knit communities, reminding us that the repercussions of such tragedies extend far beyond the immediate loss of life​​​​.

Investigation and Response

The crash involved a British Aerospace Jetstream aircraft, as identified by Canada's Transportation Safety Board, which has been deployed to investigate the incident. Meanwhile, the Fort Smith Health Centre had to activate its mass casualty protocol, illustrating the gravity of the situation. The Royal Canadian Air Force was also involved in search and rescue efforts, with three squadrons supporting the mission. This coordinated response underscores the seriousness of the accident and the concerted effort of various agencies to manage its aftermath​​​​.

Rio Tinto's Support

Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto's Chief Executive, expressed the company's devastation over the crash, emphasizing their commitment to working closely with authorities. The company fully supports the affected employees and communities, highlighting the corporate responsibility in such crises. The incident affects the company's operations and its human component, as the loss is deeply felt within the Rio Tinto community​​​​.

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