Operation Nanook, a military training program in Arctic Canada, faced the tragic realities of their training today when a plane crashed near the operation.
While practicing for an Arctic air crash disaster reality brought that training into force Saturday as a tragic air crash claimed the lives of twelve.
Military exercises were taking place in Resolute Bay in Nunavut when a crash involving a First Air 737 happened. Military members in place for training rushed to the scene putting forth practices that they were working on. Military helicopters and local residents on all-terrain vehicles raced to the scene hoping to take care of survivors. Three people of the 15 on board were pulled from the flames of the downed aircraft.
The plane was a chartered flight traveling from Yellowknife to Resolute Bay. According to local witnesses that two of the survivors were stewardesses, one of which is listed in critical condition. The other survivor is the granddaughter, 7, of Aziz Kheraj who owns the South Camp Inn in Resolute Bay. Her younger sister, 6, was also on the doomed plane.
The sound of the explosion rocked the area but heavy fog obstructed visuals of the crash.
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada said in a statement, "Sharon and I are deeply saddened by the catastrophe that occurred in Resolute Bay, where an airplane crashed earlier this afternoon.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event.
Earlier today, I had the opportunity to visit many of the Operation NANOOK military units.
I was able to witness first hand the professionalism and dedication of our Canadian Forces and civilian organizations as they responded quickly and effectively to this catastrophe."
Operation Nanook 11's training period this year was to take place from August 4 until the 26th. The exercise is a joint venture with Navy, Army, Air Force and Special Forces along with government partners. First Air is a corporate partner of the operation.
After the crash today the operation has been suspended. At the time of the crash about 500 military members were in the area. Military doctors and nurses treated the victims in a set up medical station.