Fatal helicopter crash probed in northern Alberta

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Pamela Roth and Jordan Thompson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:28 PM ET

FORT McMURRAY, Alta. -- An investigation is underway into the cause of a helicopter that went down in a remote area north of Fort McMurray Wednesday afternoon, killing two.

Shortly after 12:15 p.m., police and Canadian Forces were dispatched to an area approximately 128 km north of Fort McMurray to assist with the crash.

The male pilot and one female passenger died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

A second male passenger has been transported to hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.

QMI Agency has learned a government worker in the province's sustainable resources department is among the dead.

And the helicopter has been confirmed to be from Wood Buffalo Helicopters, a division of Aurora Helicopters Ltd.

Owner Michael Morin has released a statement saying everyone with the company is "deeply saddened by this event and feels the loss greatly."

Morin said the company will not be releasing the names of the deceased, and is supporting the ongoing investigation as best it can.

Const. Christina Wilkins of the Wood Buffalo, Alta., RCMP described the area as remote and heavily wooded.

Paul Spring, operations manager for Phoenix Heli-Flight, said one of the company helicopters was working in the area and tasked with going to the scene.

Two more of the company's helicopters responded with RCMP and firefighters on board.

The Canadian Armed Forces has also dispatched two aircraft to the area for assistance.

"All we heard on the radio was looks bad," said Spring, who wasn't sure whose helicopter went down.

"We're always saddened to hear it's (a helicopter) gone down, but slightly relieved it's not us."

Fort McMurray is 450 km north of Edmonton.


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