Fond du Lac Chief responds to plane crash

By Bryan Eneas
December 14, 2017 - 10:02am

The chief of Fond du Lac said he's greatful for the help of first responders and that passengers of a plane crash in his community all survived.

The small plane, bound for Stoney Rapids, crashed one kilometer away from the Fond du Lac airport. Twenty-two passengers and three pilots were onboard the West Wind Aviation flight. A number of people suffered injuries, but no fatalities were reported.

Louie Mercredi, the chief of Fond du Lac, was in Prince Albert having supper with students when he heard the news.

“[I was] hearing three different things at once. [We] waited and waited until things calmed down, then I started getting better information,” Mercredi said. “I was shocked with the initial information I had gotten. I didn’t want to show the crowd that something had happened, so I just kind of calmed myself down right away.”

Mercredi said one of the Elders involved in the crash was critically injured and had to be airlifted to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. One of Fond du Lac’s councillors and his family were onboard, along with some of Mercredi’s family.

“[My cousin’s son] was also in the airplane; he was pinned. He was the last one extracted from the crash,” Mercredi said. “All of the other passengers, there’s bumps and bruises on them and they’ve been treated. Some of them have been sent to Stony Rapids hospital for further treatment.”

The chief is working with the Canadian Rangers, the head nurse, and an incident commander who, along with the RCMP, have taken care of the situation on the ground. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations along with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Prince Albert Grand Council and Cameco have also lent the community help.

Mercredi said he will be part of an interagency meeting later today to continue discussions about the plane crash.

“My prayers and thoughts are with the people back home and also the people that are injured,” Mercredi said. “Hopefully they have a speedy recovery so they can come home for their loved ones for the holidays.”


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