From CBC News
Four people are dead after an Ornge air ambulance went down overnight on the James Bay Coast in northern Ontario.
The aircraft was carrying two pilots and two paramedics, according to a release from Ornge, the province's air ambulance service.
'They lost their lives ensuring the people of this province receive the help they need.'—Kathleen Wynne, Ontario premierThe helicopter, carrying no patients, left Moosonee at about midnight, heading northwest to Attawapiskat to pick up a patient as part of a routine transfer.
Contact with the Sikorsky S76 helicopter was lost with the aircraft shortly after takeoff.
In a news release issued Friday morning, Dr. Andrew McCallum, president and CEO of Ornge, said Ornge will co-operate fully with the authorities investigating the accident.
"Everybody at Ornge is deeply saddened by this tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives," he said. "We will do whatever we can to support them at this difficult time."
Ornge said the helicopter was spotted by search and rescue workers, who immediately started their trek reach the aircraft.
Provincial police and the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre were sent to locate the helicopter after the accident.
OPP, transportation board investigateAccording to Capt. Keith Hoey of the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, a Hercules aircraft and rescue technicians were sent to the scene.
A Griffon helicopter was also reported to be heading to the accident scene, but had to work through storms to get there.
The OPP says it will investigate and are making arrangements to send officers to the crash site.Investigators were sent to the crash site in northern Ontario involving Ornge's Sikorsky S-76A helicopter. Four people — two pilots and two paramedics — are confirmed dead.(Wikimedia Commons)
The Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.
Ornge will hold a news conference Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET at its head office in Mississauga, Ont., with chief operating officer Rob Giguere expected to address the crash.
Premier Kathleen Wynne said she was devastated to learn of the fatal crash.
"The pilots and paramedics of Ornge provide lifesaving services in every region of this province, and my thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of these brave individuals," she said in a statement.
"They lost their lives ensuring the people of this province receive the help they need. Their service and sacrifice will be honoured and remembered."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted: "Condolences to the families of the four victims of the northern Ontario air ambulance crash last night. You are in my thoughts and prayers."
OPP news release:
OPP INVESTIGATE OVERNIGHT CRASH OF AIR AMBULANCE
(MOOSONEE, ON) -The James Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is presently assisting with the investigating the overnight crash of an ORNGE Air Ambulance which took the lives of two pilots and two paramedics who were onboard.
This morning shortly after 6:00AM EDT, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) from Trenton, Ontario attended an area east of the Moosonee Airport, where they located the downed helicopter.
From the preliminary investigation at the scene, OPP investigators can confirm that the air ambulance took off from the Moosonee Airport shortly after midnight and was en route to Attawapiskat. For reasons unknown at this time, the helicopter crashed shortly after take-off in an area that is only accessible by air.
At present, OPP investigators are at the scene and are being assisted by members of the North East Region Emergency Response Team (ERT) and the OPP Forensic Identification Unit. The Northeast Regional CoronerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Office has also been contacted and is responding to the scene and will be assisted by the OPP.
Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) have been notified and are responding to the scene where they will investigate the cause of this crash.
Further details will be made available as the investigation continues.