Just minutes after taking off on Sunday, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds’ display came to an end, after one of the jets plunged into a Kamloops home. One staff member is now confirmed to have died during the crash, and another is believed to be injured. The Prime Minister has given an official statement about the Snowbirds plane crash.
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On Sunday, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds were scheduled to perform in British Columbia as part of their cross-country tour to raise spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the display ended in tragedy when one of the planes came down and crashed into a home in Kamloops. The impact caused the property to burst into flames.
A statement from the Canadian Armed Forces provided information about the two staff members.
The deceased team member has been named as Captain Jennifer Casey, a public affairs officer with the Snowbirds.
The pilot of the aircraft, Captain Richard MacDougall, sustained serious injuries in the crash, but he is considered to be in a stable condition.
Shortly afterwards, videos began circulating online showing huge clouds of black smoke coming from the aircraft. At least one person was spotted ejecting from the jet before it hit the ground.
The plane crashed on a residential street, near Glenview Avenue and Schreiner Street.
The RCAF has suffered another tragic loss of a dedicated member of the RCAF team. We are deeply saddened and grieve… https://t.co/4RPlUzpxZT— Royal Canadian Air Force (@Royal Canadian Air Force)1589767825.0
In a statement shared late on Sunday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared his condolences.
"For the past two weeks, the Snowbirds have been flying across the country to lift up Canadians during these difficult times," Trudeau explained.
"Every day, they represent the very best of Canada and demonstrate excellence through incredible skill and dedication. Their flyovers across the country put a smile on the faces of Canadians everywhere and make us proud,” he continued.
The Prime Minister went on to add that his thoughts were with the families and friends of those involved, as well as the entire Snowbirds team.
Tonight, I join all Canadians in mourning the loss of a member of the @CFSnowbirds #OpInspiration team, Captain Jen… https://t.co/hiYIhU8DKC— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1589771262.0
Back in April, the Prime Minister announced that the famous Canadian Snowbirds would be taking part in a national tour in order to help raise Canadian spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The red, white and blue Tutor jets started their Operation INSPIRATION tour in Nova Scotia at the beginning of the month. They were coming to the end of their cross-country trip this weekend.
"Operation Inspiration was intended to lift the spirit of Canadians at this difficult time and the Snowbirds accomplished their mission," Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement on Sunday evening.
"I know that all Canadians grieve this tragic loss," he added.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that one member of the CF Snowbirds team has died and one has sustained se… https://t.co/xyfG6rNlR4— Royal Canadian Air Force (@Royal Canadian Air Force)1589757916.0
The Royal Canadian Air Force Flight Safety team is expected to depart from Ottawa immediately, and to begin investigating the circumstances of the accident.
Kamloops RCMP is also asking anybody who may have captured the crash on video to get in touch.
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