The scene of a small plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Dec. 11. A plane that one witness describes as crashing in a “huge explosion” that left multiple people dead in British Columbia has been identified as a twin-engine propeller aircraft. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paolo Gastaldello

The scene of a small plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Dec. 11. A plane that one witness describes as crashing in a “huge explosion” that left multiple people dead in British Columbia has been identified as a twin-engine propeller aircraft. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paolo Gastaldello

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Investigators from multiple agencies are working to determine what happened and identify the victims in a fatal plane crash on Gabriola Island last night.

B.C. Coroners Service and the Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived on scene Wednesday to begin their investigation into a plane crash that in a wooded residential area on the northwest corner of Gabriola Island at about 6 p.m. Dec. 10.

The Transportation Safety Board said in a press release issued Wednesday that it deployed a team of investigators to the scene of a “piston twin-engine” aircraft, which according to media reports was a Piper Aerostar.

READ MORE: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash

Few details are known about the crash, but the B.C. Coroners Service said in a press release issued Wednesday afternoon that the debris field was “significant” and that it is working with the TSB and Gabriola Island RCMP to determine the identities of the victims.

“Confirmation of the number of deceased and their identities will occur once identification has been definitively established and their family members have been notified. This process may take several days,” the release noted.

The coroner previously reported multiple fatalities and a marine search and rescue spokesman said in a statement to media that there were “apparently three persons” on the plane.

In an e-mail to the News Bulletin, Andy Watson, communications manager with the B.C. Coroners Service, declined to confirm whether one of the victims onboard was Alex Bahlsen, who, according to various media reports was a pilot and former employee with the TSB. The Bomber Command Museum of Canada, in a Facebook post, said it is “remembering Alex Bahlsen today” after partnering with him to host flying events in the past.

Dan Clarke is leading the TSB’s investigation.

READ MORE: ‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada said in a social media post that it is remembering Alex Bahlsen today after partnering with him in the past to host flying events. (Facebook photo)

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada said in a social media post that it is remembering Alex Bahlsen today after partnering with him in the past to host flying events. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

A grass fire west of Williams Lake, seen here Tuesday, is considered to be being held by members of the BC Wildfire Service. (Photo submitted)
Bella Coola Valley Arts Council’s (BCVAC) Ida Eriksen enjoys a full life since retiring to the Bella Coola Valley Coola in 2013. She volunteers for BCVAC and likes to carve out time for art, gardening and hiking. (Photo submitted)
Art House Gallery keeps community connections close during COVID times

An art sale of the artwork of Ernest and Jill Hall will take place this weekend

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A black bear tries to get at a bird feeder at a home near Williams Lake. (Laura Ulrich photo)
Managing bear attractants a top priority in B.C. for 2021: Conservation Officer Service

Garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, compost and livestock are common attractants for bears

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

HousingHub financing to encourage more developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read