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Plane crash victims were doing survey work for BC Wildfire Service
The victims of a plane crash in northwestern B.C. over the weekend were doing survey work for BC Wildfire Service, CTV News Vancouver has learned.
Two of the four people who were on-board worked for a Vancouver-based aerial mapping company Precision Vectors Aerial Inc. They had been contracted by BC Wildfire Service to do aerial imaging in the area.
One of the victims of the Cessna 182 crash north of Smithers has been identified as 26-year-old Amir Sedghi of North Vancouver.
"I'm in complete disbelief," Sedghi's twin brother, Amid Sedghi. "I don't believe he's gone."
Sedghi was a data analyst at Precision Vectors. But on social media, he preferred the title "global citizen," posing photos from Spain, Germany and London.
A video online also shows him playing the guitar. Amid said that was just one of his brother's many talents.
"Everything he touched, he was so talented at it," Sedghi’s older brother Ammar told CTV News. "I can't put it into words, to be honest, but he was just the funniest guy in the room,” Amid added.
Amir Sedghi's boss, Lorne Borgal, was also killed on Saturday, the widow of the Vancouver businessman confirmed.
Borgal was the CEO of Precision Vectors. He was a ski patrol volunteer who became the number two at Blackcomb. He then led Whistler Mountain through a six-year transformation, making him something of a B.C. icon.
A husband, father and grandfather, Borgal wore every hat.
"It is unreal. It has broken our hearts and our spirits and we are in gathering mode to simply survive … God rest his soul and may all of us that he touched feel his spirit live on through us," his wife of nearly four decades, Nancy Treiber, wrote on Facebook.
Treiber also thanked friends and loved ones for their support in the wake of her husband’s death, and remembering Borgal as a husband, father and grandfather.
Borgal had ties to the Smithers area, his LinkedIn page showing he had previously spent several years working for Hudson Bay Mountain Resort, a ski resort in Smithers. He had also served on several government boards, including the Health Professions Review Board and the Environment Appeals Board.
In addition to Borgal and Sedghi, two others were in the single-engine plane. One of them, believed to be the pilot, also did not survive. They have not been publicly identified, but the province confirmed they'd all been contractors working on behalf of the wildfire service.
The service is assisting investigators, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said in a statement Monday.
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of everyone involved in this incident. On behalf of all British Columbians, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies," Minister Doug Donaldson said.
The surviving victim, who CTV News learned works for a U.S. company, was flown to Vancouver in stable condition after being long-lined from the crash site by a Cormorant Helicopter. He was conscious when he was found and is expected to recover.
RCMP in Smithers thanked local search and rescue crews and local helicopter companies which flew to the Babine River Corridor Provincial Park to help locate the plane after police received a distress signal. A safety device on the Cessna gave crews an approximate location. The area is described as forested, with rugged terrain.
The Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to Smithers to investigate the crash. The BC Coroners Service is also investigating.
If there's any silver lining for Amir Sedghi’s family, it's that their youngest sibling died pursuing his passion.
"He loved B.C. He loved the forest. He loved the mountains," Ammar said.
"He just loved the fact that they were doing something that was helping people and saving people's lives."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's David Molko