Man and three boys killed in Cessna crash in southwestern Manitoba

WASKADA, Man. – A man and three boys are dead after a small private plane crashed Sunday near Waskada in southwestern Manitoba.

Waskada Mayor Gary Williams said people in the town of around 200 are devastated. All three of the boys were students at the local school.

“They are people from our community and it is just a real tragedy, it is devastating,” Williams said Monday. “It is just about the worst news you could ever imagine.”

RCMP said the dead include the pilot, 37, and his two sons, 9 and 10, along with a nine-year-old boy who was a family friend.

No names were released. There were no survivors.

The boys all attended Waskada School, which has students from kindergarten to Grade 12.

Williams said the man was a very experienced pilot and had taken the boys on a recreational flight that took off around 1 p.m. Sunday.

RCMP said the single-engine Cessna 210 was reported overdue at about 3 p.m.

An Armed Forced search and rescue team found the plane around 7 p.m. in an open field about one kilometre away from the air strip.

Williams said people in town will do what they can to help everyone in the area cope with the crash.

He said staff at the school would be helping students deal with the deaths of their friends.

“It is a small school and to lose three students is a shock and it will be a difficult situation to deal with,” he said.

The Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to the site of an accident.