Seven people, including three children, dead after Kingston plane crash
TORONTO -- Seven people, including three children, are dead after a plane that took off from Markham, Ont. crashed in a wooded area in Kingston.
Emergency crews were called to the area of Creekford Road and Bayridge Drive, south of Highway 401 and Gardiners Road, for reports of a plane crash Wednesday evening.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said the aircraft is an American-registered Piper PA-32 that took off from Buttonville Municipal Airport and was headed to Kingston.
“Preliminary information indicates the destination was Quebec City. There were seven people on board the aircraft. It appears that the aircraft intended to land in Kingston as there was communication with the Kingston flight service station just prior to the accident,” Ken Webster, an investigator with TSB, told reporters at the scene.
Around 5 p.m., the plane went down. Webster said that an examination of the wreckage indicates the angle of impact was “very steep.”
“The aircraft was destroyed and came to rest in a northerly direction,” he said.
TSB confirmed on Thursday afternoon that everyone on board the plane had died.
One victim identified by friends
Friends told CTV News that one of the plane crash victims was Otabek Oblokulov, a resident from Missouri City, Texas. Oblokulov’s friends said that he was on his way to Kingston to visit them when the crash occurred.
Records show the plane was registered to Oblokulov. He is believed to be the pilot of the aircraft.
Mehmet Basti, a Toronto college professor who is a friend of Oblokulo, said that the group was planning to spend three days in Quebec City for the American Thanksgiving holiday.
“We’re waiting for the call when they landed,” he said. “We couldn’t reach them.”
Basti said that he thought his friend may have a bad connection, but then he saw news of the crash on the Internet. He also said that Oblokulo was travelling with his wife, three children and a couple from Toronto.
“We are in shock. We’re just trying to understand the situation.”
Oblokulo was an experienced pilot, Basti added, saying that this was his first time flying in Canada.
“He checked all the records, everything and decided to go yesterday because the weather was getting colder,” Basti said.
The identity of the victims has not been formally released by investigators.
Investigation into cause of crash continues
Four TSB investigators were at the scene on Thursday investigating the cause of the crash, interviewing witnesses and reviewing the plane’s maintenance history.
Webster said that the air force was able to find the wreckage due to an emergency locator that had turned on after impact.
Earlier in the day, TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.
"We understand they want answers rapidly and I'd like to offer my sincere condolences," Krepski said near the crash site.
Krepski said the plane was about six kilometres north of Norman Rogers Airport in Kingston when it crashed.
"It's difficult to say how long it will be before the wreckage is removed. We need to take the time necessary to document and examine the aircraft. That will give us some ideas of how the aircraft collided with terrain,” Krepski said.
A special weather statement had been issued for Kingston on Wednesday evening. Environment Canada warned of “strong southwesterly winds gusting to 80 km/h.”
Roads in the area are closed while police investigate.
Buttonville Municipal Airport is located in the 16th Avenue and Highway 404 area in Markham and is about 29 kilometres from downtown Toronto.