RCMP Sergeant Shawn French has disclosed that two adults and two children under the age of 18 died from the New Year’s Day crash, which happened in a farmer’s field located around 500 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
While talking about the crash, French disclosed that the chopper, a Robinson R44, sent out an emergency signal around 8:50 p.m. on January 1.
Emergency responders hinted that they found the aircraft in a farmer’s field located in Birch Hills County, around 80 kilometres northeast of Grand Prairie, Alta.
While giving account of what he found when he got to the scene of the crash, Fire Chief Tom Morgan of Birch Hills County said he was part of the first responders who got to the scene of the crash and that he found the helicopter on a wide-open crop field without any survivor.
He said: “Right now, the Birch Hills County fire department and Birch Hills county as a whole, our hearts go out to the family and friends who’ve lost loved ones in this tragic incident.”
He labeled Birch Hills as a “tight-knit” community of around 1,600.
French said Mounties from the neighbouring detachment in Spirit River, Alta., secured the scene secured and were anticipating the arrival of investigators from Nav Canada and Occupational Health and Safety.
Meanwhile Nav Canada’s spokesperson later made it known that the organization had been contacted but it was not under the organization’s jurisdiction to investigate the crash.
French said the next of kin of the victims had been notified, adding that he did not have details of what may have triggered the crash but said the helicopter was privately owned.
He said: “It’s an ongoing investigation. Currently our members are holding and securing the scene.”