Updated: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 09:14:08 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Plane in Red Lake crash was in two previous accidents



Wreckage from the flight is seen in the ditch alongside Highway 125 near Red Lake. Lindsay Briscoe/The Northern Sun News

Wreckage from the flight is seen in the ditch alongside Highway 125 near Red Lake. Lindsay Briscoe/The Northern Sun News

The aircraft that was involved in a fatal crash in northwestern Ontario had problems in the past.

Five people were killed and two survived, when a twin-engine Metroliner crashed in the community of Red Lake on Sunday night.

The plane had been involved in two previous incidents. The most serious happened in 1999 when the plane overshot a runway and collided with an antenna. That caused "substantial damage," according to records from the Transportation Safety Board.

But TSB spokesperson Peter Hildebrand said that's not unusual.

"They get repaired and components that were damaged can be replaced quite often," he said.

"It's not uncommon to see that."

Hildebrand added an investigating team from the TSB arrived in Red Lake Monday afternoon and are expected to be back on the scene Tuesday.​

The crash took place in the remote municipality of Red Lake, not far from the Manitoba border and about 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay.

The Bearskin Airlines plane went down just after 6:30 p.m. local time Sunday on approach to the Red Lake airport.

Hildebrand said the pilots knew there was a problem before the crash, and they made a call while the plane was still in the air.

"As far as we can tell, things were operating relatively normally until sometime during the descent," said Hildebrand.

"Then the crews indicated some kind of emergency."

OPP said the twin-engine turboprop burst into flames when it hit the ground, and only two people survived — one of whom pulled the other to safety.

The two pilots — a 25-year-old from Mississauga, west of Toronto, and a 34-year-old from Winnipeg — were among those killed. Three passengers — all from Red Lake — were also killed.

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