Emergency crews find no evidence after report of plane crash near Peggys Cove
Published Tuesday, March 1, 2016 8:59PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 2, 2016 7:55AM AST
An extensive search in Terence Bay, N.S., had ended after emergency officials found no signs of a reported plane crash by a concerned resident Tuesday evening.
The Halifax Regional Fire department says they received the 911 call at 6:09 p.m. on Tuesday. The call prompted the start of a joint search by the fire department, Halifax RCMP, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, and the Coast Guard.
“Five different fire stations ranging from Sambro to stations in Seabright responded with nine trucks,” said Mike Blackford, Division Commander 2 for Halifax Fire. “They checked every vantage point on different locations on land.”
Tim Slaunwhite made the call to police. He describes what he saw in the sky as “jaw-dropping.”
"As I looked up I seen an explosion - watched it to my amazement,” said Slaunwhite.
Slaunwhite says he didn’t think twice when he called 911.
“You could see the plane basically lowering itself, going down and down and down, and then all of a sudden it broke in two - it just broke in two,” said Slaunwhite. “Then all of a sudden within 10 seconds the front end caught on fire."
The fire department searched for an hour before calling off their search.
“They felt like they did everything they could,” said Blackford.
While fire crews searched on land, JRCC and the Coast Guard searched the waters just off the shores of Peggys Cove.
“We are looking for debris and to confirm the report,” said Captain Cameron Hillier, Joint Task Force Atlantic Public Affairs. “We will perform an exhaustive search and if nothing is found, we will call it off.”
JRCC's search was called off around 9:30 p.m. Cpt. Hillier says earlier in the evening, Air Traffic Control advised them that all aircrafts were accounted for and they didn’t receive any emergency locator transmitters.
“ELT are pieces of equipment that goes off when an aircraft is in distress,” adds Cpt. Hillier. “Despite no ELT trigger, HMCS Halifax, a Cormorant helicopter and Coast Guard ship Sambro are searching the area.”
Halifax RCMP also tells CTV News no planes are overdue or missing.
But Slaunwhite is convinced of what he saw.
“To me it had to be a passenger plane,” said Slaunwhite. "From smoke trail to fire to descending to the water, you just, thoughts go through your mind - you know, nothing good."
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.