At least one person was killed and another seriously injured Sunday when a Canadian Forces Snowbirds aircraft crashed in Kamloops, British Columbia, according to the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that one member of the CF Snowbirds team has died and one has sustained serious injuries,” the RCAF said on Twitter, adding that more information would be available shortly.
Capt. Jennifer Casey was identified as the deceased victim. She was the team’s public affairs officer.
Casey was from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and joined the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2014 as a direct entry officer, according to her RCAF biography. Prior to that, she had been a broadcast radio reporter, anchor and producer in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Belleville, Ontario.
Capt. Richard MacDougall, the pilot of the aircraft, was injured in the crash and is being treated for his injuries.
The Snowbirds perform air shows for the Canadian public, similar to the US Navy’s Blue Angels.
The team — comprising members of the Canadian Armed Forces and National DefenseS Public Service Employees — kicked off a cross-country tour May 2 to honor “Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of Covid-19.”
“Canadians look at the Snowbirds as a source of joy and an exhibition of the incredible feats that our people in uniform are capable of,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, the Minister of National Defense. “Operation INSPIRATION was intended to lift the spirit of Canadians at this difficult time and the Snowbirds accomplished their mission. I know that all Canadians grieve this tragic loss.”
The military indicated they are sending an investigation team to Kamloops.
Anyone who might have filmed the incident is asked to contact the Kamloops RCMP.
“My thoughts are with the brave members of the (Royal Canadian Air Force),” Trudeau said on Twitter.