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Helicopter crashes killing passenger

Accident happens close to Bute Inlet

One person died in a helicopter crash near Bute Inlet north of Powell River on Saturday, April 13.

According to the RCMP, initial reports indicated that the helicopter, with one pilot and five passengers on board, went down and overturned in the Homathco River. The Rescue Coordination Centre dispatched a search and rescue team from CFB Comox after receiving details of the crash.

Five of the six on board, including the pilot, were able to escape with non-life-threatening injuries. All were initially transported to Campbell River hospital for examination. Four have since been released while the fifth person, a passenger, remains in a Victoria area hospital undergoing further treatment.

Four of the passengers were from the United States, including a 48-year-old man who was trapped in the wreckage and unable to escape.

All evidence suggests that the helicopter crashed to the ground a short time after takeoff, according to the RCMP. The BC Coroner Service is now leading the ongoing investigation.