Last Updated Wed, 16 Jul 2003 18:23:30
CRANBROOK, B.C. - A large four-engine aircraft crashed Wednesday while helping to fight a forest fire near Cranbrook in southeastern B.C.

Capt. Alex Schenk of the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria said both of the two people on board the Lockheed Electra water bomber died in the crash.

Witnesses report seeing an explosion when the plane hit the ground about eight kilometres south of East Kootenay city.

Schenk said the aircraft is spread over a large area, and the crash caused a fire.

The plane was a Lockheed Electra owned by Air Spray, an Edmonton-based firefighting company.

It has 35 aircraft, including four Electras.

Written by CBC News Online staff