Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 11/20/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
SNOW LAKE -- Members of this northern community are grieving for local pilot Mark Gogal and the seven miners injured in Sunday morning's plane crash.
"The mood in the community is sombre and quiet," Mayor Clarence Fisher said during a news briefing Monday at the town office. "People are waiting to find out the facts and do whatever we can to support the (Gogal) family."
Fisher said the town offers its condolences to the families of people involved in the crash.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of them," Fisher said. "We have full confidence that the community will pull together."
Fisher said he grew up in Snow Lake with Gogal, adding the pilot and his family are an integral part of the community.
The air crash was the worst he can remember occurring in the community, he said.
Most local residents declined to talk about the crash, citing respect for the Gogal family.
"People are still in shock," Patricia St. Jean, owner of the local café, Franal's, said, explaining the reserve. "They're still waiting for more news."
Dennis St. Jean, Patricia's husband, is a loader operator at the Lalor mine and knew Gogal and all the passengers, who are employed as shaft workers.
St. Jean said the miners had just completed a 20-day rotation and were heading to Winnipeg when the crash occurred. None of the injured miners was local, he said, adding they hailed from back East -- Ottawa, Quebec and New Brunswick.
"My heart is still thumping," he said. "They're all good fellows, hard workers."
The miners were contract workers supplied by Dumas Mining Corp. The company issued a statement Monday afternoon, offering its condolences to the Gogal family and friends and stating it will support its employees and their families.
Fisher said he was proud of the way the community responded when word of the crash spread through the town.
"Moving through difficult terrain as quickly as possible, these crews managed to clear a road to the crash site, administer first aid to the injured and remove them from the bush," he said.
Fisher said the town had conducted a full-scale emergency exercise only a few weeks before, adding he believes that contributed to the well co-ordinated effort involving town staff, the RCMP, Conservation and search and rescue.
"All indicators point to an immediate and excellent response," he said.
-- Aldo Santin
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 20, 2012 A3
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Guide fined $21.5K for illegal hunting practices
Teenage gang member gets 4 years for shooting up home
Dying woman cradled in arms of husband who attacked her, court told
God is a Scottish Drag Queen returns to Winnipeg
Author Joan Thomas at News Café Tuesday
Suspect pleads not guilty to second-degree murder in death of teen near Portage Place
Committee votes to rename park despite objections
Internee descendants call for boycott of the CMHR
Adrian Peterson 'sorry' for hurting child
One injured in St. Norbert Hotel robbery
Man dies after farm accident
ER backlogs can be reduced further, city committee told
Academy introduces Buddy Bench to foster friendship, inclusion
Alloway Arch to be part of new space to honour Winnipeg Foundation, donors
Candidates submit nomination papers
Construction worker injured in downtown accident
Trial underway for slaying of Fort Richmond teen
Gun, drugs seized after street altercation in St. Boniface
Former Bomber running in Daniel McIntyre
Warm weather today, cooler later in the week
Psychic medium Edward dropping by Café
The spirits move them... again and again
They refuse to give up hope
Council seat will be contested
Young and old run for Fox
Ouellette has $250-M plan to fix roads
I'll sleep with CEOs to aid the homeless
Amalgamation of two Crowns brings windfall
Winnipegger reaches 'golden age' of giving
Pope asked to protect albinos