RESOLUTE BAY, Nunavut — A chartered Boeing 737 plane crashed Saturday afternoon in Canada's Arctic region, killing 12 people, police said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the plane went down near the hamlet of Resolute Bay in the Arctic territory of Nunavut. The First Air charter flight was traveling from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to Resolute Bay, and was scheduled to continue on to Grise Fiord on Ellesmere Island.
RCMP Constable Angelique Dignard said 12 people died in the crash and three people were injured. The plane was carrying 15 people, including four crew members. Police did not have any information about the condition of the three survivors.
First Air said in a news release that the plane last reported communication at 12:40 p.m. local time when it was about five miles from Resolute Bay airport.
The crash site is less than 1.2 miles west of the Resolute Bay community and is in rough terrain accessible by all-terrain vehicles, Dignard said.
Witnesses said the plane crashed into a small hill near the airport runway. Local residents rushed to the site on their ATVs to see if they could help pull people from the flaming wreckage.
"You could see parts of the plane everywhere ... tail, nose, everything," said Saroomie Manik, a former mayor of the community who went to the site.
Manik said there were two young girls on the plane, the grandchildren of a local inn owner. One of the girls died, while the other survived and was airlifted to a hospital in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, Manik said.