Canada Snowbirds team jet crashes in British Columbia, report says one crew member dead

FAN Editor
A plume of smoke rises over houses in Kamloops following a plane crash
A plume of smoke rises over houses in Kamloops following a plane crash, British Columbia, Canada May 17, 2020, in this image obtained from social media. Twitter/MikeGT79/via REUTERS

May 17, 2020

(Reuters) – A jet from the Canadian air force’s Snowbirds team that was on a national tour to lift spirits during the coronavirus outbreak crashed into a neighborhood in Kamloops, British Columbia, on Sunday and Global News reported that one crew member was killed.

Witnesses and officials said earlier that at least one person was injured when the plane crashed after the pilot ejected. Kamloops is about 320 km (200 miles) northeast of Vancouver in the West Coast Canadian province.

Global News said the plane had been carrying two crew members, one of whom died and the other survived with injuries.

Officials at Canada’s Department of National Defence were not immediately available for comment.

“One individual was transported to hospital,” British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Twitter.

Video shot by a witness showed two of the team’s Canadair Tutor single-engine jets taking off. One of the planes reared up almost immediately before plunging to the ground, exploding just after the pilot ejected.

A photo posted by Kamloops television station CFJC showed at least one house on fire in the Brocklehurst area of Kamloops, a city with a population of more than 90,000.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said it was unable to confirm whether anyone had been injured.

Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a tweet that he was deeply saddened by the news.

The crash was the second recent accident involving the Snowbirds. One of the team’s jets crashed into an unpopulated area last October before a show in Atlanta, after the pilot ejected.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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