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RCMP search crash site for helicopter pilot

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The RCMP dive team will be searching the waters of Gull Lake near Gillam today for the pilot of a helicopter which crashed there Monday.

The wreckage of the Bell 206 helicopter belonging to Custom Helicopters of St. Andrews was located on Tuesday around noon by a military search and rescue team.

Though some media outlets are reporting the pilot's body has been found, RCMP Cpl. Miles Hiebert said that is not the case at this time.

"There's no confirmation of any deceased people at the site at all," Hiebert said, noting the dive team is en route to the crash site.

Al Barrett, acting manager at the Transportation Safety Board central division, said some wreckage was located at Gull Lake which is about 23 kilometres west of Gillam but it is believed the rest of the wreckage is under water.

"All we have for wreckage right now is material floating on the water and washed up on shore," Barrett said.

Barrett said it has not yet been determined if there will be an investigation by the Transportation Safety Board.

"We’re still gathering data and in the end, we will make an assessment on whether we will conduct a full investigation. That will be based on a number of things, one is what can we learn from this occurrence and is there a way that can benefit the travelling public by investigating."

The pilot had been expected to pick up passengers in the helicopter on Monday but did not arrive at the destination.

Forest fires in the Gillam area had been causing thick smoke.

 

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM CDT: corrects typo

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