The Royal Canadian Air Force is searching for two crew members of a CH-147F Chinook helicopter that crashed into the Ottawa River near Garrison Petawawa, north of Ottawa, at 1:45 p.m.
The plane was on a training mission with four crew members from the 450th Tactical Helicopter Squadron when it crashed shortly after midnight. Two of them were found and taken to Pembroke Hospital. The other two are still missing.
“Boaters in the area are asked not to approach shore near Garrison Bedawawa to facilitate searches, avoid hazardous materials from aircraft, and ensure the integrity of the crash site. RCAF aircraft,” National Defense writes.
About fifty members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will conduct research on shore and in the river. Search and rescue aircraft from the Ontario Provincial Police, Petawawa and Pembroke Fire Departments’ marine unit and the RCAF’s 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron are also assisting in the search.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there will “obviously be an investigation” to determine the cause of the crash, adding that it’s “too early to speculate.” “Our priority right now is to make sure people are safe,” he said, addressing his thoughts to the families of the affected soldiers.
The CH-47 Chinook is a heavy utility and attack helicopter manufactured by the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing. It is used to transport equipment and personnel for operations both domestically and abroad.
This is the second accident involving such a device in two years in the country. In May 2021, another CH-47 Chinook crashed in Wainwright, Alberta while conducting a series of familiarization flights with various service members. The aircraft sustained very heavy damage and 3 crew members were injured. The investigation concluded that human factors contributed to the accident, due to process failures.
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