Richmond Plane Crash: 2 Pilots Killed, Plane on Fire Before Crash
A small airplane, carrying two pilots en route from Victoria to Vancouver International Airport, crashed in the parking lot of a transmission shop in Richmond, BC on Thursday night, killing both pilots.
Eyewitnesses reported that the plane was on fire before it hit the ground, sending flames up to 100 feet in the air.
The twin-engine Piper Navajo PA-31 cargo airplane crashed on Thursday night at approximately 10:03pm local time.
Aside from several recovered pieces of charred fuselage, the airplane was completely destroyed in the crash.
The Vancouver Sun has video footage from the scene of the crash: Small plane crashes in Richmond
“The plane engine sounded real low,” said [Darren Van] Leeuwen, a truck driver for Coca-Cola. “It came almost straight down, straight into the ground. The flames shot up 100 feet or more.”
Leeuwen said he was in shock as he grabbed his phone and dialled 911.
“You could hear explosions from barrels nearby. … It's just burning wreckage. It just disintegrated. There was definitely no one alive and moving. Every single piece was on fire.”
The Canadian Air Charters plane was carrying 140 units of donated blood after being charted by Canadian Blood Services to transfer the blood from Victoria to Vancouver.
A federal investigation is being conducted into the incident. The names of the pilots have not been released.
Two pilots flying donated blood from Vancouver Island to Vancouver died in the fiery plane crash that launched flames 30 metres into the air Thursday night in north Richmond.
Power lines were downed in the crash, but no other injuries were reported.
The plane hit power lines that continued to spark two hours after, said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Peter German.
It's lucky more people weren't hurt in the crash near homes and businesses, he added.
“We are very lucky, very fortunate in that regard,” he said.
The building in the 12000-block of Vickers Way was on fire, and emergency crews blocked off the streets.