The scene of a small plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Dec. 11. A plane that one witness describes as crashing in a “huge explosion” that left multiple people dead in British Columbia has been identified as a twin-engine propeller aircraft. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paolo Gastaldello

The scene of a small plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Dec. 11. A plane that one witness describes as crashing in a “huge explosion” that left multiple people dead in British Columbia has been identified as a twin-engine propeller aircraft. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paolo Gastaldello

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Investigators from multiple agencies are working to determine what happened and identify the victims in a fatal plane crash on Gabriola Island last night.

B.C. Coroners Service and the Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived on scene Wednesday to begin their investigation into a plane crash that in a wooded residential area on the northwest corner of Gabriola Island at about 6 p.m. Dec. 10.

The Transportation Safety Board said in a press release issued Wednesday that it deployed a team of investigators to the scene of a “piston twin-engine” aircraft, which according to media reports was a Piper Aerostar.

READ MORE: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash

Few details are known about the crash, but the B.C. Coroners Service said in a press release issued Wednesday afternoon that the debris field was “significant” and that it is working with the TSB and Gabriola Island RCMP to determine the identities of the victims.

“Confirmation of the number of deceased and their identities will occur once identification has been definitively established and their family members have been notified. This process may take several days,” the release noted.

The coroner previously reported multiple fatalities and a marine search and rescue spokesman said in a statement to media that there were “apparently three persons” on the plane.

In an e-mail to the News Bulletin, Andy Watson, communications manager with the B.C. Coroners Service, declined to confirm whether one of the victims onboard was Alex Bahlsen, who, according to various media reports was a pilot and former employee with the TSB. The Bomber Command Museum of Canada, in a Facebook post, said it is “remembering Alex Bahlsen today” after partnering with him to host flying events in the past.

Dan Clarke is leading the TSB’s investigation.

READ MORE: ‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

 

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada said in a social media post that it is remembering Alex Bahlsen today after partnering with him in the past to host flying events. (Facebook photo)

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada said in a social media post that it is remembering Alex Bahlsen today after partnering with him in the past to host flying events. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

President of the Tahltan Central Government, Chad Norman Day, surveys Tahltan territory by helicopter in this July 2019 handout photo. The Tahltan Nation and the British Columbia government have struck what officials say is a historic agreement for shared decision-making for the nation’s territory in northwestern B.C., a hot spot for mineral exploration. Day says the deal shows they are “getting closer and closer to a true nation-to-nation relationship.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Tahltan Central Government
Tahltan Nation, B.C. government sign agreement for shared decision-making

Deal commits the province and the northwest B.C. nation to developing a land-use plan

Hours of practice each day on the part of dancer Braya Kluss keeps her at a high performance level, someting reflected in the competitions she has won. (Submitted Photo)
Remote Tahltan community faces uncertainty with no ‘real’ timeline on Telegraph Creek Road

Provincial transportation ministry says the timeline for road repairs is ‘weather dependent’

Shown is a T-6 Harvard flown by Bud Granley, who has performed at the Vanderhoof Airshow “more times than any other performer,” said Anne Stevens. (Anne Stevens - Vanderhoof International Airshow Society)
Vanderhoof International Airshow a no-go for 2021

Airport open day planned for September

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
The train station in Smithers pulls into view in a 1959 video of a train trip from Vernon to Prince Rupert. (Screen shot)
VIDEO: Rare footage of Smithers in 1959 featured in train tour video

8mm film converted to video shows Vernon to Prince Rupert by train and Rupert to Vancouver by ship

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Most Read