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Fatal plane crash reported near Squamish, B.C.

Howe Sound is seen from CTV's Chopper 9 on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (Pete Cline / CTV Vancouver) Howe Sound is seen from CTV's Chopper 9 on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (Pete Cline / CTV Vancouver)
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The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has confirmed it is working with local Mounties and the BC Coroners Service after a plane crash near Squamish, B.C. Friday night.

The TSB said it has not been deployed to the scene yet, and referred questions about the incident to Squamish RCMP.

BC Emergency Health Services also referred questions about the incident to local police.

In a statement Saturday afternoon, Squamish RCMP said they have received a report of the crash "in a remote area" and are "working with partner agencies to advance the investigation."

Police said they received an automatic crash notification from a smartphone Friday evening, adding that the location of the phone was "in a remote area on the outskirts of Squamish, B.C."

Search and rescue crews, along with the Canadian Forces' Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria, have been called in to help advance the investigation, police said.

"Due to the challenges of accessing the remote location, police are not yet able to confirm any details regarding the crash," the statement reads. "No further information will be provided at this time."

Asked about its response, the JRCC told CTV News it was informed of "an overdue private aircraft" shortly before 6:30 p.m.

The location given was "20 nautical miles north of Vancouver," the JRCC said, adding that it had tasked a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter and a CC-130 Hercules plane from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron in Comox to search for the small aircraft.

The search was focused on "Mount Ellesmere and its surrounding area," according to the JRCC.

Mount Ellesmere is located on the west side of Howe Sound, roughly 10 kilometers southwest of downtown Squamish.

Shortly after they were dispatched Friday night, the Cormorant and Hercules returned to base "due to increasingly challenging weather conditions," the JRCC said, adding that, on Saturday, the RCMP informed it that its resources were no longer needed.

The TSB is tasked with investigating civil aviation incidents, including crashes, that occur in Canadian airspace. It conducts independent investigations and publishes reports identifying the factors that contributed to each incident, as well as any safety deficiencies that need to be addressed.

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