Canada Snowbirds team jet crashes in British Columbia, injuring at least one

An RCMP office walks in front of the tail wreckage from a Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds jet after a member of the exhibition team crashed shortly after takeoff in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

A jet from the Canadian air force’s Snowbirds exhibition team crashed into a neighborhood in the British Columbia city of Kamloops on Sunday after the pilot ejected, and at least one person was injured, witnesses and officials said.

The pilot’s condition was unknown. Kamloops is about 320 km (200 miles) northeast of Vancouver.

The air force confirmed on Twitter that a jet from its Snowbirds team had crashed near Kamloops, but gave no details. The planes had been on a nationwide tour to raise spirits during the coronavirus outbreak.

“One individual was transported to hospital,” British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Twitter.

Video shot by a witness showed two of the team’s Canadair Tutor single-engine jets taking off. One of the planes reared up almost immediately before plunging to the ground, exploding just after the pilot ejected.

A photo posted by Kamloops television station CFJC showed at least one house on fire in the Brocklehurst area of Kamloops, a city with a population of more than 90,000.

Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a tweet that he was deeply saddened by the news.

The crash was the second recent accident involving the Snowbirds. One of the team’s jets fell into an unpopulated area last October before a show in Atlanta, after the pilot ejected.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not immediately respond to requests for more details about the incident.

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