Plans are under way to recover the bodies of three Canadian
men believed killed in a plane crash in Antarctica after the
wreckage of the aircraft was found yesterday.
A rescue mission was launched by New Zealand's Rescue
Coordination Centre (RCC), with the help of United States and
Canadian officials for the Twin Otter plane and its three
crew after the flight from the South Pole failed to arrive at
Terra Nova Bay on Wednesday.
Yesterday the wreckage was located on a very steep slope near
the top of Mt Elizabeth, halfway between the South Pole and
"It appears to have made a direct impact that was not
survivable" Maritime New Zealand said in a statement.
No details were available on the cause of the crash.
The men's next of kin had been informed.
RCC co-ordinator Kevin Banaghan earlier said they were "still
operating with the expectation we will find them alive".
The missing plane was equipped with survival equipment,
including mountain tents, and supplies sufficient for five
It was owned and operated by Kenn Borek Air Ltd, a Canadian
firm headquartered in Calgary that charters aircraft to the
Two helicopters reached the site at around 7.15pm yesterday
and were able to survey the site and identify the wreckage.
The search and rescue mission had moved into a recovery
operation, led by The Unified Incident Command, a joint
United States Antarctica Programme and Antarctica New Zealand
incident management unit.
The recovery mission was expected to be difficult undertaking
due to remote location and difficult access to the site which
is at a height of 3900 metres.
Weather conditions remained good in the area.
The men's bodies would be sent to New Zealand and from there
returned to Canada.
RCC operations manager John Seward said all those involved
had worked hard on the rescue mission in challenging
conditions since Wednesday and it had been a real team
He said hopes were held throughout the operation for a
positive outcome for the three Canadians, who were very
experienced and well-resourced.
Their thoughts were with the families of the crew.