Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

August 21, 2011 20:12 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Crash of First Air Flight 6560

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 21, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the crash of First Air flight 6560:

"I was shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths of 12 people in the crash of First Air flight 6560. My sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of the deceased, and my thoughts are with the three people injured in the crash.

Canadian Forces personnel, as well as their civilian's counterparts, quickly responded to the scene of the crash. The crash site was just a few kilometers away from a military location used for Operation Nanook, Canada's major annual Northern sovereignty operation.

Canada's men and women in uniform, including 15 medical personnel, with two Griffon helicopters and one Sea King helicopter, were first on the scene, extinguishing fires along with Resolute Airport firefighters, and searching for and providing aid to the passengers and crew of the downed 737. The survivors were later transported to Iqaluit by a Canadian Forces C-17 Globemaster.

Operation Nanook has been suspended in light of the crash. One of the major aspects of this year's exercise was to test the Canadian Forces' Major Air Disaster plan, a critical response designed to safeguard Canadians after a large passenger plane crash. The Canadian Forces are always ready to respond whenever Canadians are in need. Their professionalism is derived from training exercises such as Operation Nanook

Those who perished in this unfortunate accident will be remembered by Canadians, the Canadian Forces family and the Department of National Defence

Contact Information