2 others taken to hospital after training flight crashed into Ottawa River

CBC News

The Department of National Defence (DND) says two people are missing and another two are in hospital after a helicopter crashed into the Ottawa River near Garrison Petawawa during a training flight early Tuesday morning.

The incident happened around 12:10 a.m. ET Tuesday about 150 kilometres northwest of downtown Ottawa, according to a tweet from the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Four Canadian Armed Forces personnel were on board the CH-147 Chinook at the time, according to a tweet from National Defence Minister Anita Anand.

Two of them were found by first responders and were taken to hospital; their conditions have not been released.

The two missing crew are members of 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, according to a news release from DND. 

The military says this type of helicopter is used to move people and equipment and that this squadron is based out of Petawawa. It’s the air force’s only CH-147F Chinook squadron.

First responders conducting search and rescue efforts in the area include military members — with air support out of Petawawa and 8 Wing Trenton — Ontario Provincial Police and local firefighters.

DND has asked boaters to avoid the river near the base and its Black Bear Beach to avoid “potentially hazardous materials from the aircraft” and preserve the crash scene.

The Town of Petawawa says it has has stopped taking water from the Ottawa River to its water treatment plant as a precaution and has banned non-essential watering, such as for lawns or gardens.

Neighbouring Laurentian Valley and Pembroke are asking residents to conserve water because of high demand “as we assist our (neighbours) with an ongoing Emergency.”