Survivors say there was something wrong with the aircraft almost as soon as it left the runway.
A West Wind Aviation turboprop with 22 passengers — including an infant — and a three-member crew crashed Wednesday evening near Fond du Lac in northern Saskatchewan.
One of the survivors says it took passengers several minutes before they were able to push open the exit door and escape the wreckage.
One man described prolonged yelling as the plane went up and down and side-to-side before the crash.
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Pictures of the crash site show the damaged aircraft partly on its side in the trees, with a wing jutting up in the air at a 45-degree angle.
No one was killed in the crash, but at least five people were airlifted to hospital.
The airline says five people were flown from the crash scene for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
The Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of West Wind Aviation says Wednesday night’s plane crash could have been much worse were it not for the quick response from the community of Fond-du-Lac.
Rick Philipenko says the community of 900 were on the scene helping the 35 passengers and crew seconds after the plane went down.
“An outstanding effort from that community,” Philipenko said. “And we want to formally thank Chief Mercredi and his councillors from Ond du Lac, the First Responders and the entire community for their invaluable assistance and immediate response to this emergency situation.”
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the crash.
The West Wind Aviation turboprop went down just after takeoff from the Fond du Lac airport Wednesday evening.
(with files from The Canadian Press)