Baby killed in Nunavut plane crash

A six-month-old infant was killed when a small aircraft crashed in Nunavut the evening of Saturday,...

A six-month-old infant was killed when a small aircraft crashed in Nunavut the evening of Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Handout courtesy RCMP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:54 PM ET

WINNIPEG -- A six-month-old child is dead after a small aircraft crashed Saturday in a remote community in Nunavut.

The Fairchild Metro 3 twin-engine turbo-propeller plane operated by Winnipeg-based Perimeter Aviation was carrying seven passengers, including the child, and two crew members when it went down at the end of a runway at Sanikiluaq's airport while making a second landing attempt about 5:15 p.m. CST.

"The other six passengers are in Sanikiluaq and were receiving treatment there, but they're not life-threatening injuries," RCMP Sgt. Greg Sutherland told QMI Agency from Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Pilot Remi Barre and co-pilot Raymond Pennock were flown to Winnipeg -- one on Saturday night, the other on Sunday -- for treatment of more serious injuries suffered in the crash about 150 km west of Nunavut's boundary with Quebec.

"Our captain is out of the hospital. So the only person still seeking medical attention is the first officer," said Perimeter vice-president Trevor Ryder, who didn't have details on their injuries.

"He's non-life threatening. He's just in for observation at this point."

Perimeter owns the 19-seat plane that was chartered to Kivalliq Air for the flight, which left Winnipeg about 1:40 p.m. for the Inuit community of 850 residents on the Belcher Islands of Hudson Bay.

All of the passengers are residents of Sanikiluaq.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada is investigating the crash with the coroner's office in Nunavut. The plane went down in blowing snow, sustaining what the TSB described as "substantial" damage.

"We're getting a lot of information slowly," Gayle Conners, a TSB spokeswoman in Montreal, said. "We're truly getting anything we can get on the aircraft, the weather, the runway conditions, the crew."

The plane's cockpit data recorder has been removed for examination by TSB investigators.

"They were going to make a decision (Sunday) afternoon whether to send people in right away," Sutherland said of the TSB.

Perimeter president Mark Wehrle flew to Sanikiluaq on Sunday with a few staff members and Wayne McLeod, president and CEO of Keewatin Air LP, which runs Kivalliq as one of its divisions.

"They spent time with the community," Ryder said.

Wehrle couldn't be reached for comment, but said in a statement: "Our hearts go out to the passengers and crew and their families during this difficult time."

Kivalliq provides scheduled service between Winnipeg and Sanikiluaq three times a week.

ross.romaniuk@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @RossRomaniuk


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