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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Dr. Cori Lausen, bat specialist. Photo: Submitted
Kaslo biologist questions logging at unique West Kootenay bat site

Dr. Cori Lausen, a bat specialist, studies a population of bats above Beasley

Robbie Campbell lost his livelihood when the pandemic shut down Shambhala Music Festival. Instead, he spent part of 2020 working on a children’s book called Tulip that is now available. Photo: Submitted
In a lousy year, a Kootenay man was saved by a pink T-rex

Robbie Campbell became a children’s author after the pandemic cost him his livelihood

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
RCMP: Small tin saved Trail man from stabbing

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Most Read