Four people lost their lives January 10 in a plane crash at the North Spirit Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario. Three of the deceased were members of North Spirit Lake and nearby Native communities. AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo expressed sadness after the crash. “On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, we offer our condolences to the families and communities of those lost in the crash,” he said in a statement.

The pilot and four passengers were flying in from Winnipeg to the community located 400 kilometres north of Dryden, Ontario. One passenger survived the crash that occurred when the plane went down just short of the community’s landing strip, though he remains in critical condition.

The crash highlighted concerns about emergency services in remote communities after rescuers tried to douse the resulting flames with snow.