A jet from the Royal Canadian Air Force's Snowbirds team that was on a national tour to lift spirits during the coronavirus outbreak crashed into a neighbourhood in Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday, killing one crew member.
Witnesses and officials said at least one person was injured when the plane crashed after the pilot ejected.
Kamloops is about 320 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.
The RCAF has suffered another tragic loss of a dedicated member of the RCAF team. We are deeply saddened and grieve alongside Jenn’s family and friends. Our thoughts are also with the loved ones of Captain MacDougall. We hope for a swift recovery from his injuries. - Comd RCAF pic.twitter.com/8U41bdVqcU— Royal Canadian Air Force (@RCAF_ARC) May 18, 2020
The plane had been carrying two crew members. In a tweet, the Snowbirds squadron said the surviving crew member's injuries were not life-threatening.
The Snowbirds identified the dead crew member as Capt. Jennifer Casey, the public affairs officer for the Snowbirds, who was from Halifax.
Casey, who was a non-flying member of the team, is a graduate of the University of King's College journalism program and Dalhousie University.
The team identified the injured pilot as Capt. Richard MacDougall, who is originally from Dieppe, N.B.
According to her Canadian Forces bio, Casey joined the Armed Forces in August 2014 as a direct-entry officer. Before that, she spent several years working in broadcast radio as a reporter, anchor and producer in Halifax and Belleville, Ont.
She joined the Snowbirds in November 2018.
Officials at the Department of National Defence were not immediately available for comment.
"One individual was transported to hospital," British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Twitter.
Video shot by a witness showed two of the team's Canadair Tutor single-engine jets taking off. One of the planes reared up almost immediately before plunging to the ground, exploding just after the pilot ejected.
A photo posted by Kamloops television station CFJC showed at least one house on fire in the Brocklehurst area of Kamloops, a city with a population of more than 90,000.
Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a tweet that he was deeply saddened by the news.
The crash was the second recent accident involving the Snowbirds. One of the team's jets crashed into an unpopulated area last October before a show in Atlanta, after the pilot ejected.
This is the accomplished and top of her field @_jenncasey — lost tragically today in the @CFSnowbirds. 🇨🇦 sends all love and condolences to her family and friends. #Snowbirds #JennCasey pic.twitter.com/yJgR0r1wqK— Jody Vance (@jodyvance) May 18, 2020
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Jenn Casey of the @CFSnowbirds. Jenn was an avid hockey fan and former producer for Mooseheads broadcasts on @NEWS957. She was an incredible person. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. pic.twitter.com/V4v2Szt80P— Halifax Mooseheads (@HFXMooseheads) May 18, 2020
With files from The Chronicle Herald.