A flight chartered by Rio Tinto has crashed in Canada, leaving six people dead and one hospitalised.
The aircraft took flight from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories (NWT) on Tuesday 23 January.
Search and rescue efforts were launched after the plane lost contact, aided by the Canadian Rangers, Mounted Police, and Air Force.
The Canadian Rangers, who patrol remote areas of the country, located the plane wreckage near the Slave River.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released a statement on Wednesday, describing the crash as an “accident”.
According to the TSB, the aircraft “collided with terrain” shortly after taking off and was destroyed in a “post-impact fire”.
The TSB reported the vessel was a British Aerospace Jetstream registered with Northwestern Air Lease, an airline based out of Fort Smith.
NWT Chief Coroner Garth Eggenberger confirmed that four passengers and two Northwestern Air Lease crew members were killed.
Eggenberger gave his statement after officials had notified all next of kin.
The sole survivor was taken to Fort Smith Health Centre for treatment before being transferred to Stanton Territorial Hospital in the province’s capital Yellowknife.
The British-Australian mining corporation released a statement on Wednesday, confirming the passengers were mine workers travelling to the Diavik Diamond Mine.
The Diavik mine is the largest diamond mine in Canada, located about 200km south of the Arctic Circle and 300km northeast of Yellowknife.
Rio Tinto has owned and operated the mine since 2003.
“We are working closely with authorities and will help in any way we can with their effort to find out exactly what happened,” said Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm.
The Mayor and Council of the Town of Fort Smith also issued a statement to extend their condolences to “all the families, friends, and the community”.
“We thank all who have responded to assist our community and are very grateful for their dedication,” the statement reads.
“Our community is strong and resilient and together we will support each other.”
The TSB has deployed investigators to the scene.