Search ongoing after plane with Rio Tinto workers went down after takeoff
Employees of mining company Rio Tinto were involved a small plane crash on Jan. 23 and it’s expected some of them were killed.
The incident happened close to Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories, with the plane on its way to the company’s Diavik mine.
“I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the families, friends, and loved ones of those who have been affected by this tragedy. As a company we are absolutely devastated by this news and offering our full support to our people and the community who are grieving today,” says Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto CEO.
“We are working closely with authorities and will help in any way we can with their efforts to find out exactly what has happened.”
‘Stories and contributions to our communities will not be forgotten’: NWT premier
Northwestern Air Lease owned the downed plane and declined to comment on the crash, according to Reuters. It was found near Slave River shortly after takeoff from Fort Smith.
The Fort Smith Health Centre said in a statement that it had activated its “mass casualty protocol” after “an aviation incident near the community.”
Garth Eggenberger, chief coroner of Northwest Territories, confirmed there were fatalities but provided no further details.
“The impact of this incident is felt across the territory. The people we lost were not just passengers on a flight; they were neighbours, colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Their stories and contributions to our communities will not be forgotten,” says R.J. Simpson, premier of Northwest Territories.