Crews reach site of deadly Canadian air crash

Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:42pm EST
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Search crews braved rugged terrain on Monday to reach a plane crash on Canada's Pacific coast, confirming there are no more survivors of the accident that killed seven people.

The Pacific Coastal Airlines charter flight crashed into a hillside on Thormanby Island, about 90 km (56 miles) northwest of Vancouver, on Sunday, but the terrain and foggy weather had prevented rescuers from reaching the site.

It took the badly burned lone survivor an estimated two hours to climb down from the crash site before he was able to meet up with search crews, according to Coast Guard officials.

"(Crews) are reporting significant debris in the area. At this time, the team can confirm that there are no further survivors of the crash," the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

The cause of the crash was unknown, but airline officials told local media the pilot was very experienced and the aircraft, a more than 60-year-old Grumman Goose, was in good mechanical condition.

It was the second fatal crash for a Pacific Coastal Airlines Grumman Goose in three months. Safety inspectors have not yet completed their report into the cause of an August crash that killed five people.

The plane in Sunday's incident was taking a construction crew to a hydro-electric project being built for Plutonic Power Corp.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing Jeffrey Jones)