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Two Killed in NWT Air Tindi Cessna Crash; Two Lutsel K’e Passengers Survive


An Air Tindi plane with four people aboard crashed outside the First Nation community of Lutsel K’e in the Northwest Territories, killing two, on Tuesday October 4. The two survivors were from the 400-population community.

According to reports, the plane was flying from Yellowknife to Lutsel K’e but turned back before crashing about 25 miles from its destination.

“It was a very stressful day with the news and not knowing what the situation was,” Lutsel K'e band manager Ray Griffith told the Canadian Press. “So it was a huge relief to the community that their two members survived.... This is a small community of 400 people with no roads, so everybody is very close and spends all their lives together.”

He said that Sheldon Catholique and Bernice Marlowe, the two Lutsel K'e residents on the plane, were hospitalized but expected to recover.

Two Yellowknife residents were not so lucky. The pilot and an employee of the Northwest Territories Power Corp. were both killed.

The Cessna-208-B left Yellowknife at 11:03 a.m. and was due in Lutsel K’e at 11:45, the radio station CJCD Mix 100 News reported. The community is on a peninsula that extends into Christie Bay on the south shore of the eastern arm of Great Slave Lake, the Canadian Press said. Accessible only by air and water, the community had sent boats to the crash site, Griffith told CBC News.

Air Tindi is the same line that flew Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, when they visited the NWT this past summer.

Members of the community also joined search and rescue workers on a Twin Otter plane that was the first to land at the crash site. A C-130 plane from Winnipeg and a helicopter from Great Slave Helicopters followed soon after, the CBC said. The plane crashed near the eastern end of Great Slave Lake.

This is the third plane crash up north in the past several weeks. It closely followed the September 22 crash of an Arctic Sunwest Twin Otter plane on a Yellowknife street, which killed two pilots and injured seven passengers.

And the north is still mourning the August 20 death of 12 people in the crash of First Air flight 6560 outside Resolute Bay in Nunavut. Three survived the crash of the Boeing 737.