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Whitehorse plane crash kills two

The scene at the south end of the Whitehorse Airport runway Monday night. Photo: John Kennedy/CKRW.

The Transportation Safety Board says the plane was taking off from the south end of the airport when it crashed into a forested area.

Two people are dead after a small plane crashed on takeoff from the Whitehorse Airport.

Jon Lee with the Transportation Safety Board in Edmonton says the incident happened about 6 p.m. local time as the Cessna 170 was taking off southbound for Anchorage when it crashed about 600 metres from the end of the runway. He says local officials have told him the two people on board were deceased.

Lee says investigators will arrive on scene Tuesday morning, to try and determine a cause.

"We're assembling a team of investigators, we're all based in Edmonton, the Yukon is covered by our regional office in Edmonton," Lee told the RUSH. "We will arrive (on the morning flight) and if all goes well, will be on the scene by 11 a.m."

He says there will be a long investigation.

"(We will collect) information on the pilot, the aircraft, the maintenance history, collecting weather information," Lee said. "If there was any closed circuit TV imagery at the airport we'll get that. Other eyewitnesses that may have seen the crash we will get that information and progress from there."

The plane went down in a forested area, just west of the Robert Service ball diamonds. Airport and city firefighters, including a helicopter with a bucket, doused the flames.

There's no word so far on the names of the deceased or their hometowns.

The RUSH will continue to follow this breaking news item Tuesday morning.

(Updated 8:30 p.m. The previous version is below.)

Emergency personnel in Whitehorse are responding to a small plane that has crashed at the south end of the airport runway.

There was smoke coming from the area near the Robert Service ball diamonds, and a helicopter was spotted bucketing the area just west of the diamonds.

Oshea Jephson with Highways and Public Works confirms airport personnel responded to a downed plane around 6 p.m.

"Crews are on scene and are now securing the scene," Jephson said. "People throughout Whitehorse might have noticed quite a substantial amount of smoke. There is no longer any smoke now and we're just assessing what's happened, and then we're going to provide more information to the public as it becomes available."

Jephson couldn't speak to the number of people on board, or if there were any injuries.

RUSH Reporter John Kennedy says police were moving traffic along Robert Service Way, and not allowing anyone to stop. Kennedy says police were spotted surrounding the area where the plane broke through the fence.

Yukon RCMP confirms on social media a small aircraft has crashed near the airport in Whitehorse. Police say they are on scene assisting emergency crews with this incident.

Police are also asking people to avoid the area around Robert Service Way to allow crews the space they need to safely do their work.

(This is a breaking news item, and will be updated as warranted.)

(Updated at 7:39 p.m to reflect RCMP comment.)

(The area where the plane slid off the runway. Photo: Google Maps)

(The scene shortly after the incident. Photo: Jim Petelski.)


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