The injured are being transported by snowmobile after air rescue grounded due to weather

Jacob Barker · CBC New

A ground search and rescue team out of Makkovik has been able to reach two people stranded in blizzard like conditions after their small plane crashed into the side of a mountain about 74 kilometres southeast of Makkovik, on Labrador’s coast Wednesday morning.

The pair is now being transported by snowmobile but the going is slow, according to a Canadian Armed Forces spokesperson.

“The weather and the terrain are making the going quite difficult,” Maj. Mark Gough said. “And because the passengers are injured they have to take a bit more time.”

Gough said the extent of the injuries are not known but characterized their conditions as “serious”.

The Piper Malibu single-engine aircraft, which is registered in the United States, was about 200 kilometres from its starting point in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, en route to Greenland, on Wednesday when it crashed.

Once they reach Makkovik, the plan is to extract the injured by helicopter to Happy Valley-Goose Bay. When that will happen will depend on the weather conditions according to Gough.

Two people were aboard the small aircraft, Gough said. One is from the U.K. and the other is from Belgium.

Gough said contact has been made with the people who are stuck. He said one of them was conscious while the other one was unconscious.

Two military aircraft, including a Cormorant helicopter, were in the area but Gough said blizzard-like conditions prevented rescue crews from accessing the crash site.

“It’s extremely difficult weather conditions to be working in,” Gough said earlier Wednesday evening as air rescue attempted to extract the pair.

“The Hercules aircraft is circling above the crash site, they’re not able to send the search and rescue technicians from the aircraft because of the gusting winds and visibility is so low.”