A water bomber has crashed while scooping up water from Puntzi Lake in the interior of B.C. as part of firefighting efforts, CKNW said in a tweet.
— CKNW (@CKNW) July 10, 2015
ShuswapScanner reports on Twitter that the pilot survived the crash.
DEVELOPING: A "Fire Boss" water bomber has crashed while scooping water from Puntzi lake. The pilot escaped and is O.K.
— Shuswapscanner (@Shuswapscanner) July 10, 2015
Bill Yearwood with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada confirmed to CKNW that the pilot escaped.
“We understand about 2:50 Pacific Daylight Time, a Conair Fireboss, which is a single engine amphibious water bomber ran into trouble on Puntzi lake. The aircraft sank, but the pilot was able to get out.”
Yearwood adds an insurance company was given the go-ahead to remove the plane from the lake.
It is not yet known what caused the crash.
UPDATE – 5:35 p.m. – Statement by Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson:
“On the afternoon of July 10, 2015, an Air Tractor AT-802F Fire Boss amphibious airtanker working on the Puntzi Lake wildfire in the Cariboo Fire Centre went down in Puntzi Lake.
The pilot was able to exit the aircraft and was brought to shore. Initial indications are that he suffered no major injuries, but as a precaution was brought to hospital in Williams Lake for observation.
Our thoughts are with the pilot and his family, and all of the other firefighting crews and aircraft personnel who are working on the Puntzi Lake wildfire and elsewhere in B.C.”