Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut September 01, 2011 - 8:56 am

First Air starts clean-up of Resolute Bay crash site

"We recognize and acknowledge the importance of returning the site to its former state"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
First Air has taken over the job of cleaning up the debris still left at the site in Resolute Bay where First Air flight 6560 crashed on Aug. 20. Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board hace already packed up what they will need to complete their report on the crash, which likely won't be ready for months. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TSB)
First Air has taken over the job of cleaning up the debris still left at the site in Resolute Bay where First Air flight 6560 crashed on Aug. 20. Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board hace already packed up what they will need to complete their report on the crash, which likely won't be ready for months. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TSB)

(updated at 11:10 a.m.)

First Air said Aug. 31 that the Transportation Safety Bureau has completed the first stage of its investigation into the cause of the Aug. 20 crash of First Air flight 6560 near the Resolute Bay airport.

The airline said that it had assumed responsibility Aug. 29 for the final stages of the crash site remediation and environmental clean-up.

“This tragic event is being felt in Resolute Bay and throughout the entire North.  First Air is committed to cleaning-up the site in a way that is respectful to the community and the environment,” said Scott Bateman, First Air’s president and chief executive officer.  “As a company that is entrenched in all the communities we serve, we recognize and acknowledge the importance of returning the site to its former state in a timely manner.”

Qater Earth Science Assoc. Ltd., Atco and the local hunters and trappers organization will “assist and consult during the clean-up,” First Air said.

The governments of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada have approved the plan.

Government inspectors are onsite to oversee the process, First Air said.

“First Air is determined to ensure environmental standards and best practices are met as we work to return the land to its original condition,” Bateman said.

Chris Krepski, spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board, confirmed Sept. 1 that the board’s team of 23 investigators was on its way back to Ottawa today.

The TSB investigators expect to take many months to complete their investigation into the Aug. 20 crash which killed 12 and injured three.

The TSB was grateful to the people of Resolute Bay, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, who were in Resolute Bay at the time of the crash for the Operation Nanook military exercise, and the staff at Polar Continental Shelf Program in Resolute Bay for their assistance.

“They’re given a great help to us,” Krepski said.

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