Wings Magazine

Two killed in Yellowknife Twin Otter crash

Sept. 23, 2011, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - A Twin Otter float plane that clipped a condominium then crashed onto a Yellowknife street left two dead and seven injured.

September 23, 2011  By CBC News

Yellowknife RCMP have confirmed that there were two crew members on board, as well as seven passengers, when the plane crashed early Thursday afternoon on a narrow peninsula that juts into Great Slave Lake.

The Northwest Territories coroner's office knows the identities of the deceased, but their names will not be released until all next of kin have been notified.

No one on street level was seriously hurt, but bystanders were struck with debris after the float plane, owned by Arctic Sunwest Charters, clipped a building and some power lines, before hitting the ground.

Two of the injured who were taken to hospital are in critical condition.


RCMP Const. Kathy Law said the plane was coming in for a landing on Great Slave Lake when it crashed between two buildings. Reports say the plane was en route from Thor Lake.

Witnesses rushed to help victims

The incident occurred in front of the Dancing Moose Cafe and the Geosciences Building in an area known as Old Town.

Debbie Doody, co-owner of the Dancing Moose Cafe, was in the kitchen when several customers saw the plane go down.

"He crashed into the skirt of the building across the street with his wing and then he just did a total 360 turn and he landed in the parking lot," Doody said. "It was really terrifying."

An eyewitness said a car was crushed by the plane.

"Everybody responded extremely fast. People came running out from the Moose Cafe with clean towels," Charlotte Overvold told CBC News.

"It was extremely awful. There was debris that had hit a couple of people, bystanders, so they needed assistance," she said.

Overvold rushed to help the injured and said her friend Matthew Grogono helped pull survivors from the wreckage.

"My heart goes out to the people who are left behind, to whoever didn't make it," Grogono said.

2nd Arctic plane tragedy in as many months

Thursday's plane crash comes on the heels of another fatal crash in Canada's North.

A passenger jet crashed on Aug. 20 near Resolute Bay, Nunavut, in Canada's High Arctic, leaving 12 dead and three injured.

Nunavut RCMP said First Air Flight 6560 was travelling from Yellowknife to the community of Resolute with 15 people on board.

Among those killed were four crew members, the six-year-old granddaughter of the man who chartered the flight and several workers from outside the territory.


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