Body of 47-year-old Newfoundlander among 3 recovered from Labrador plane crash

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Police heading to crash site on Friday morning to recover remaining bodies

CBC News · Posted: Jul 19, 2019

Mistastin Lake was formed by a meteor strike in northern Labrador. It’s very remote, only accessible by air.(Michael Zanetti)

On Friday morning, the RCMP released more information on the seven people in the floatplane that crashed into Mistastin Lake on Monday.

The body of a 47-year-old fishing guide from Newfoundland and Labrador was recovered from the wreckage of a plane crash at a remote lake in Labrador, along with two American men.

The bodies of a 66-year-old man from Illinois and a 67-year-old man from New Jersey were also recovered earlier this week.

The remaining four men — one from Quebec, one from Newfoundland and Labrador, one from Indiana and one from Illinois — are still missing and presumed dead.

Sources tell CBC News the 47-year-old man was from Grand Falls-Windsor, and that his body will be returned to his family after an autopsy in St. John’s.

Police headed to crash site

The RCMP began flying officers and supplies to Mistastin Lake in northern Labrador on Friday morning to search for the bodies of the missing.

The floatplane was operated by Air Saguenay — a small airline that has had three fatal crashes in nine years.

RCMP Cpl. Jolene Garland said crews have a “green light” to begin transferring 10 to 15 people and supplies to the crash site. They weren’t able to reach the lake on Thursday because of high winds and heavy rain.

It will take several flights by plane and helicopter to get the officers and supplies there.

It’s not clear where the bodies of the three dead were located, but they have been recovered.

Police released the following information about the victims of the crash on Friday morning:

  • Pilot – 66-year-old man from Quebec (missing).
  • Guide – 50-year-old man from N.L. (missing).
  • Guide – 47-year-old man from N.L. (located, deceased).
  • Passenger – 67-year-old man from New Jersey (located, deceased).
  • Passenger – 66-year-old man from Illinois (located, deceased).
  • Passenger – 40-year-old man from Indiana (missing).
  • Passenger – 38-year-old man from Illinois (missing).

The RCMP underwater recovery team, Labrador’s general investigation unit and air services are heading to the area with help from Nain’s ground search and rescue team.

Only one of the men has been identified — Gilles Morin, the pilot for Air Saguenay, who had worked with Three Rivers Lodge in Labrador for about six years. Air Saguenay had earlier this week said he was 61 years old. 

The group was flying from Three Rivers Lodge, near Schefferville, Que., to Mistastin Lake as part of an excursion.

The other six have been confirmed as four American tourists and two guides from Newfoundland and Labrador.