UPDATE: TSB investigating helicopter accident east of Camrose

AUPE says three Alberta Environment and Parks workers were conducting wildlife survey

(File photo)

(File photo)

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) has released that three of their members were involved in the helicopter crash east of Camrose on Jan. 23. The workers, employed by Alberta Environment and Parks, were conducting aerial surveys to count deer and moose as part of a wildlife management survey.

It was during that survey that the crash occurred. The workers, as of the morning of Jan. 24, were all hospitalized in Edmonton.

Killam-Forestburg RCMP responded to a downed Bell 206B helicopter around 10 a.m. The helicopter had crashed near Range Road 161 and Township Road 462 in Flagstaff County, near Viking.

Viking RCMP, EMS, Daysland Fire Department, Killam Fire Department, and STARS Air Ambulance also attended the scene.

According to RCMP reports, three of the four passengers were transported by ground ambulance to area hospitals for assessment and treatment. The fourth passenger was transported to Edmonton via STARS.

RCMP and fire department members held the scene until the arrival Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), which will be conducting a crash investigation.

A team of TSB investigators were deployed after the accident. The TSB, an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline and rail transportation occurrences, will gather information and assess the incident.

“Our hearts are broken for these workers,” said Bonnie Gostola, AUPE vice president and chair of the union’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) committee, in a release.

“No worker should have to worry about whether they’re going to make it home at the end of a shift,” said Gostola.

“No matter what caused this accident, we expect Alberta Environment and Parks to renew their focus on safety in the workplace. Workers need to know that their employer is doing everything to stop tragedies before they occur.”