Four Hydro One Employees Killed in Helicopter Crash


Hydro One says four of its employees were killed following a helicopter crash near Tweed, Ont., on Thursday.

Emergency services first responded to a helicopter crash northeast of Tweed and south of Flinton, near Upper Flinton Road, at approximately noon on Thursday, acting Sgt. Tina Hunt of the OPP said.

Kim Clayton, whose family rents the property where the crash occurred, said, "Hydro crews have been working on the power lines near our property for the past week and a half and the helicopter has been working in the area for the past week, so I heard it all week".

In a statement, Hydro One said the safety of its employees is "paramount" and said the crash will be investigated by the appropriate agencies. Names of the victims will not be released until next of kin are notified.

Tweed's fire department confirmed that they had visited the scene of the accident. Ontario's air ambulance service was also called to the scene but left without loading any casualties.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has sent a team of investigators to the scene: "The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence".

The company held candlelight vigils at its offices across the province Friday morning and said most ground crews would be standing down from their jobs until Monday.

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"It is a time of emotion and shock for all of us at the company", Schmidt said, adding that there was no timeline for when the utility's helicopter fleet would go back to work.

"I couldn't see the helicopter, but then I could see, like, parts of it in the trees", she said.

Clayton, whose husband was away and children in school, said she choked up when the orange tape started going up and she realized just how bad it was.

"I knew it wasn't good when the ambulance loaded the guys in and they didn't leave", Clayton said.

"They have families, it's nearly Christmas time", Clayton said.

The TSB said investigators would be looking at a wide range of factors to determine a possible cause of the crash, including pilot records, aircraft maintenance records and aircraft history.

The single-engine AS350 is a utility helicopter often used for corporate purposes and by police. In both cases, pilot error was to blame.