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Two dead, two critically injured after Piper plane crashes near Quebec City

Jan. 6, 2009, Montreal - Two men were confirmed dead Tuesday after a plane crash 65 kilometres southeast of Quebec City, while another man and a woman were taken to hospital with critical injuries.


January 6, 2009
By Carey Fredericks

Jan. 6, 2009, Montreal – Two men were confirmed dead Tuesday after a plane crash 65 kilometres southeast of Quebec City, while another man and a woman were taken to hospital with critical injuries following a daring air rescue.

Officials from the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre at CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario say low cloud cover initially hindered search and rescue efforts after the Piper plane lost contact with
air traffic control just after taking off from Quebec City at around 5 a.m.

“The coast guard helicopter was on the scene relatively early,'' Capt. Mark Peebles said.

“They were in the vicinity but they couldn't get into the area due to weather. There was very low cloud cover and they couldn't get into the scene so they were released and returned to base (in Quebec City).''

The plane had left a small airport in Arnprior, Ont., just west of Ottawa, and made a stop in Quebec City to refuel before leaving for Saint John, N.B.

Arnprior Airport manager Dan Lynch said he couldn't confirm the identities of the victims but said the plane involved in the crash had a call sign of RZH and was registered to a Pakenham man named William Barrie.

Transport Canada's website confirms the plane was registered to a William Barrie but Lynch said it was usually his son Jessie who piloted the aircraft.

A co-worker of Jessie Barrie confirmed in an interview that the younger Barrie was the pilot on Tuesday.

Details about the victims and the nature of their injuries were not immediately available.

Three other helicopters including a Griffon from CFB Bagotville, Que., another from Trenton and a Cormorant from CFB Greenwood, N.S., as well as a C-130 Hercules transport plane from Trenton were also dispatched to the scene, he said.

While they were en route, Peebles said one of the people aboard the Cessna used a cellphone to call 911 and was able to provide some pertinent information.

The Griffon from Bagotville made it through the cloud cover at around 9:15 a.m. and was able to lower a rescue technician to the scene in the town of Notre-Dame-Auxiliatrice-de-Buckland.

“Soon after, the Hercules was able to find a hole in the clouds and got to the crash site and parachute-dropped two more search and rescue technicians,'' Peebles said.

Two people were transported to a hospital in Quebec City.