The scene of a small plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Dec. 11. A plane that one witness describes as crashing in a “huge explosion” that left multiple people dead in British Columbia has been identified as a twin-engine propeller aircraft. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paolo Gastaldello

The scene of a small plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Dec. 11. A plane that one witness describes as crashing in a “huge explosion” that left multiple people dead in British Columbia has been identified as a twin-engine propeller aircraft. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paolo Gastaldello

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Investigators from multiple agencies are working to determine what happened and identify the victims in a fatal plane crash on Gabriola Island last night.

B.C. Coroners Service and the Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived on scene Wednesday to begin their investigation into a plane crash that in a wooded residential area on the northwest corner of Gabriola Island at about 6 p.m. Dec. 10.

The Transportation Safety Board said in a press release issued Wednesday that it deployed a team of investigators to the scene of a “piston twin-engine” aircraft, which according to media reports was a Piper Aerostar.

READ MORE: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash

Few details are known about the crash, but the B.C. Coroners Service said in a press release issued Wednesday afternoon that the debris field was “significant” and that it is working with the TSB and Gabriola Island RCMP to determine the identities of the victims.

“Confirmation of the number of deceased and their identities will occur once identification has been definitively established and their family members have been notified. This process may take several days,” the release noted.

The coroner previously reported multiple fatalities and a marine search and rescue spokesman said in a statement to media that there were “apparently three persons” on the plane.

In an e-mail to the News Bulletin, Andy Watson, communications manager with the B.C. Coroners Service, declined to confirm whether one of the victims onboard was Alex Bahlsen, who, according to various media reports was a pilot and former employee with the TSB. The Bomber Command Museum of Canada, in a Facebook post, said it is “remembering Alex Bahlsen today” after partnering with him to host flying events in the past.

Dan Clarke is leading the TSB’s investigation.

READ MORE: ‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada said in a social media post that it is remembering Alex Bahlsen today after partnering with him in the past to host flying events. (Facebook photo)

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada said in a social media post that it is remembering Alex Bahlsen today after partnering with him in the past to host flying events. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

Students from Cedar Hill Middle School play and hold a sign to protest proposed music cuts to school band programs in the Greater Victoria School District, during a Monday event. The district is facing a massive deficit and is considering a number of options for cutting costs. (Photo courtesy Laura Alcaraz-Sehn)
Massive student demonstration planned to protest Greater Victoria school band cuts

Band students from 14 SD61 schools will be at major intersections Thursday after school

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

Reuben Forsland in his East Sooke studio with the guitar he crafted from hemp wood that he hopes will start a conversation about sustainability. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
East Sooke artisan strikes a chord with custom guitars

Guitars include wood from Hendrix childhood home in Seattle

Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in two houses at the Mount St. Mary long-term care home on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Google Earth)
Island Health declares outbreak at Victoria long-term care home

Resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19 at Mount St. Mary facility

A man accused of choking a 15-year-old in his tent in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night has been arrested by Victoria police. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man accused of choking, sexually exploiting 15-year-old in Victoria tent arrested

Police arrested the 38-year-old in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday afternoon

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

Most Read