Two survivors found in western Canada plane crash

Sun Aug 3, 2008 10:11pm EDT
 
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Two survivors were pulled from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed on Sunday on Canada's rugged Pacific coast, but five other people on the aircraft died, officials said.

Search crews located the wreckage in a wilderness area of northern Vancouver Island with the help of sporadic cell phone contact with one of the survivors, according to the Pacific Rescue Coordination Center.

The Pacific Coast Airlines amphibious plane crashed en route from Port Hardy, British Columbia, to Chamiss Bay, a remote village on the western coast of the island.

The steep terrain and dense forest cover made it difficult for search aircraft to see the wreckage even with the cell phone messages, which were sent rescuers via a third party, officials and local media said.

The survivors suffered moderate injuries and were airlifted to a hospital, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Transportation Safety Board investigators are scheduled to visit the wreckage of the twin-engine Grumman Goose aircraft on Monday to determine the cause of the crash.

(Reporting by Allan Dowd; Editing by Doina Chiacu)