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Wreckage of overdue helicopter spotted near Gillam

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The wreckage of a downed helicopter in northern Manitoba has been spotted by crew members of a search plane from Winnipeg, Gillam RCMP have confirmed.

The wreckaged, believed to be that of an overdue helicopter owned by Custom Helicopters, a St. Andrews-based company, was spotted just before noon today in a remote area near Gull Lake about 50 kilometres west of Gillam.

A Royal Canadian Air Force CC130 Hercules from 17 Wing Winnipeg had been dispatched to conduct a search of the area.

Efforts are underway to get to the wreckage of the Bell 206 helicopter, RCMP said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has been notified.

RCMP continue to investigate.

The pilot and helicopter reportedly left Gillam around 4:30 p.m. Monday but did not arrive at the scheduled destination.

A spokesman from Custom Helicopters in St. Andrews confirmed it is the company’s pilot and helicopter that were missing.

"We’re just trying to get some information on that ourselves," he said, earlier today. "It’s northern Manitoba but we don’t really have any information right now."

There are reports of forest fires in the Gillam area creating thick smoke which is creating challenging conditions for the searchers.

History

Updated on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM CDT: Adds details about the search and rescue effort.

2:54 PM: Updates with wreckage located.

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