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Pilot in North Okanagan helicopter crash remains unaccounted for: RCMP

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Mounties say the pilot of a helicopter that crashed on the Shuwswap River near Mabel Lake Saturday is currently unaccounted for.

The crash happened at around 8:25 p.m. near the 27000 block of Maple Lake Road in Hupel, B.C., and four people were injured when the helicopter went down into a shallow section of the Shuswap River near Mabel Lake.

“The initial investigation determined four people were on board the helicopter when it crashed into the riverbed,”  RCMP said in a press release.

“Three of the individuals were transported to hospital with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. One person, believed to be the pilot, left the scene in a vehicle prior to the arrival of emergency personnel and remains unaccounted for.”

Also unaccounted for, according to posts on social media, is a small golden-haired chihuahua named Chalupa belonging to one of the helicopter passengers.  If anyone finds the pup, they could also contact the police.

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Click to play video: 'Helicopter crash in Enderby sends 4 people to hospital'


Helicopter crash in Enderby sends 4 people to hospital


While the crash cause is still being investigated, the help from area residents who ran to the aid of passengers was clearly a benefit to those onboard.

One woman who lives near the crash scene described what she heard moments before the aircraft went down.

“I had been sitting on the porch and I heard the helicopter quite low, so I kind of looked over, and it just started spinning and it was quite low to the river — I thought the blades were going to come off,” resident Judy Fleming said.

“I grabbed my son-in-law, and he ran directly to the site — he was the first on scene.”

Fleming says her son-in-law helped two people escape the helicopter, while two others managed to get out on their own. Others passing by also stepped in to assist.

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“He was alone down there for probably about 10 minutes and then people started pulling over to help.”

— with files from Jayden Wasney

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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