Plane crash caused minimal environmental damage: MOECC

An SD&G O.P.P. officer, firefighters and paramedics carry a pilot out of the bush Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 near Summerstown after his plane crashed. The crash site is in the woods off County Road 27, 2.1 kilometers north of County Road 2. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SUMMERSTOWN – The agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment during spills says there’s no threat to the area around a plane crash, north of Summerstown.

The C-plane “Buccaneer” went down Monday night in the woods east of County Road 27, southwest of the Cornwall Regional Airport.

The 70-year-old pilot and lone occupant of the plane was rescued by emergency responders around 10 p.m. and was last reported to be in “serious” condition at the Cornwall Community Hospital.

Lisa Chalmers is the senior environmental officer with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) district office in Cornwall.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Chalmers said it’s estimated that less than 20 liters of jet fuel spilled in a low-lying wet area of a farmer’s field where the plane crashed.

“This is jet fuel so it evaporates every quickly. Given that it was aviation fuel and highly volatile, the impacts really are localized to that immediate crash site and, at this point, really predominately limited to the wreckage itself,” Chalmers said.

She said the cleanup is limited to the area of the wreckage. “All our information indicates that there’s nothing going on there with a risk to the environment.”

There may be some soil cleanup needed from any oils spilled from the plane during cleanup, which would be the responsibility of the owner, Chalmers said.

The jet fuel was thick in the air Monday night and five first responders had to be treated at hospital for exposure.

TSB undecided on sending investigative team

Transportation Safety Board spokesman Alexandre Fournier told CNW late Tuesday morning they were “assessing” the situation but had not made a decision on whether to deploy an investigative team.

Fournier suggested a decision on sending a crew to the crash site might be made “late today (Tuesday).”