Prime Minister offers condolences to families of deceased
Three people have died in a helicopter crash in the Canadian Arctic.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has issued a statement offering condolences to the families of the three people killed in the crash: pilot Daniel Dubé; a scientist working with the University of Manitoba, Klaus Hochheim; and Marc Thibault, who commanded the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Amundsen.
“It is a grim reminder of the very real dangers faced on a regular basis by those brave individuals who conduct research and patrol our Arctic — one of the harshest and most challenging climates in the world — to better understand and protect Canada’s North,” Harper says in the statement.
“The courage and dedication of these three brave individuals will be honoured and remembered.”
The statement notes the helicopter went down in the McClure Strait, near Banks Island. The flight was described as a routine mission to check ice conditions. The crash happened “yesterday,” but no further details are provided.
Contacted by The Telegram this morning, the Canadian Coast Guard has refused to provide any details on the case or respond to questions, pending a formal media call or statement later today.
The Canadian Coast Guard is not releasing any information related to a helicopter crash in the Canadian Arctic, pending a media availability or prepared responses to reporters across the country later today.
Information will be provided out of an office in Quebec, The Telegram was told.
More will be provided as it becomes available.
••• Earlier story•••
A helicopter reportedly working with the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen has crashed offshore.
“I don’t know much about this at all other than it has crashed,” said Capt. Wright Eurebi, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Air Force, based in Winnipeg.
The statement confirmed information provided to The Telegram early this morning that a helicopter had gone down overnight.
Eurebi said his team was contacted by the Canadian Coast Guard for assistance with a search and rescue mission, though he could not confirm any details in terms of timeline, saying the case was handled by the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre in Trenton.
“We were in the process of launching (a response) but they got back to us and said it wasn’t necessary, we could stand down,” he said.
He said the coast guard had located debris.
There are as-yet unconfirmed reports of fatalities.
A media contact at the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard’s Central and Arctic coverage area are redirecting questions about the case to a public relations officer with the Canadian Coast Guard.
Messages have been left by The Telegram for Canadian Coast Guard public affairs as of 9 a.m. NLT.
More to come.