Two of the three people who died in a plane crash near the Chilliwack Airport Friday afternoon (Oct. 6) have been identified as trainee pilots from Mumbai, India.
Abhay Gadru and Yash Ramugade, both 25 years old, were onboard the small plane with the still-unidentified pilot when it crash landed behind the Chilliwack Motor Inn. Though Chilliwack RCMP have not released details yet about any of the victims, the two men have been identified/named in an article by NDTV (an Indian news outlet).
Both men were in Canada for pilot training. Gadru was from Vasai, Mumbai and Ramugade was from Santacruz, Mumbai.
All three people were in a Piper PA34 which is currently registered to a Langley flight school called SkyQuest Aviation Ltd.
Katie Van Hoepen, of Chilliwack, told The Chilliwack Progress that she saw the plane go down as she was travelling on Highway 1 to Abbotsford. She got off the highway at Young Road.
Witnesses tried to help the crash victims after the plane went down, she said.
“We had to get ladders and mattresses” to lay in the blackberry bushes in order to access the plane, Van Hoepen said.
It remains unclear where the plane was travelling from and its intended destination.
The BC Coroners Service and Transport Safety Board are still investigating and the crash site will remain contained until further notice.
—With files from Jenna Hauck and Jennifer Feinberg