Pilot dies in helicopter crash near Tyee Spit in Campbell River

WatchWitnesses say the helicopter appears to have lost power before going down in a parking lot beside a native carving shed on Tyee Spit.

A pilot is dead after a helicopter crash near the Tyee Spit in Campbell River.

Campbell River RCMP and the Campbell River Fire Department responded to the crash near Spit Road at around 11:25 a.m.

The helicopter caught fire after crashing and also set a nearby carving shed alight.

“The helicopter appeared to be in trouble, circled a couple of times, then flipped upside down and crashed near the First Nations cemetery,” one person told CHEK Videographer Dean Stoltz.

The fire department put out the blaze. Nearby boaters from the marina also responded with their own fire extinguishers.

Police said the helicopter was locally owned and used for commercial operations. The pilot was the only person on board at the time of the crash.

The BC Coroners Service has been called to the scene.

“We have been advised of one fatality at this time,” the BC Coroners Service said in a statement.

The Spit Road area is closed off for approximately an hour while the investigation into the crash continues.

Police said the cause of the crash is not known at this time and will be investigated by WorkSafeBC, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the BC Coroners Service.

The name of the victim and the helicopter company will not be released by police. The Transportation Safety Board has confirmed the helicopter was a Bell 206.

“On behalf of the Campbell River RCMP, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of the victim in this crash and to the staff and owners of the helicopter company,” Campbell River RCMP Liaison Const. Maury Tyre said in a statement.

The spit houses seaplane and helicopter hangars, with a wharf and an RV park nearby.

With files from CBC


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