On Tuesday, fatalities confirmed after aircraft crashes at Fort Smith

(CKLB file photo).

An unconfirmed number of people were killed when a small aircraft crashed just outside of Fort Smith Tuesday morning.

Of the passengers and crew, it’s unknown how many are from the South Slave region.

The Northwestern Air Lease British Aerospace Jetstream went down just after takeoff west of Fort Smith, on the NWT Alberta border.

Early Tuesday afternoon, GNWT Health Department spokesperson David Maguire said officials would be “working across regions,” to coordinate mental health and counselling resources to add capacity in Fort Smith.

By late afternoon, Chief Coroner Garth Eggenberger confirmed there were fatalities in the crash, but did not add further details. The Coroner’s office had sent a team to Fort Smith.

The extent of damage to the aircraft wasn’t revealed. The final destination for the flight was Diavik.

A Royal Canadian Air Force C-130 Hercules remained in the area of Fort Smith late Tuesday, and paratroopers are crash site. Canadian Rangers originally located the downed craft.

Late last month, an Air Tindi Twin Otter crashed near Diavik diamond mine as it hit a hill in near-whiteout conditions.

All eight passengers and two crew members were rescued the following day at the crash site, 300 kms northeast of Yellowknife.

Anyone who wants to speak with a reporter on Wednesday about this tragedy, please contact news@cklbradio.com or at 867-766-2552.

— With files from Mariah Caruso

A British Aerospace Jetstream aircraft, similar to the model shown here, operated by Northwestern Air Lease was involved in an ‘incident’ outside of Fort Smith this morning. (CKLB file photo.)

About the Author

James O'Connor
James O’Connor joined CKLB 101.9 FM at the start of 2024, after working as a journalist, photo editor and managing editor at newspapers in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. James also has experience in politics, arts, service clubs and the NWT’s non-profit sector. At this point in his lengthy career, James is thrilled to be working at such a unique media outlet and always welcomes notes from listeners at: james.oconnor@cklbradio.com.