The bodies of the three people who were killed in a heli-skiing crash north of Terrace, B.C., on Monday, Jan. 22 were successfully recovered on Sunday, the president of the company announced.
In a statement Sunday afternoon, John Forrest of Northern Escape Heli-Skiing thanked the Terrace Search and Rescue team and the RCMP, who led the mission.
Around 4:15 p.m., the helicopter carrying a group of skiers from Bolzano, Italy, went down in the remote backcountry about 30 kilometres north of Terrace. Four people were seriously injured, and were rescued from the mountain that day to receive emergency medical care.
The bodies of the three victims remained in the mountains for six more days.
“Once our teams rescued the four injured people off the mountain, the helicopter accident site was closed, so we relied on the RCMP, Terrace Search and Rescue and others to take on the important responsibility of recovering those lost,” Forrest wrote.
“We are pleased that today, thanks to the dedication of those groups, the recovery mission of the three individuals has also been completed.”
Family members and Italian media identified the deceased as Heiner ‘Junior’ Oberrauch, 32, and Andreas Widmann, 35.
Among the survivors were Oberrauch’s brother, Jakob Oberrauch, and friends Emilio Zierock and Johannes Peer, according to the Oberrauch family.
The family told CTV News the third unnamed victim was the pilot, and that the fourth injured person was a ski guide on the trip.
Neither the local police, the B.C. Coroners Service, nor Northern Escape have identified the people injured or killed in the crash.
“I know how important it has been for the families to have their loved ones recovered from the mountain. We all wanted this to be done safely and quickly,” Forrest continued.
“The days following the helicopter accident have been filled with grief, and my heart continues to go out to all those impacted and their loved ones.”
More to come.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Todd Coyne