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A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash.

Irene Paulus/The Canadian Press

Two people have been transported to hospital in serious but stable condition after a helicopter crash on Bowen Island, B.C.

B.C. Emergency Health Services says in a statement that they received a call at about 10 a.m. Friday morning for reports of a downed helicopter on the island off the coast of West Vancouver.

Emergency Health Services says two patients have been airlifted to hospital.

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Capt. Chelsea Dubeau with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre says a helicopter was initially sent to help in the rescue, before the call was cancelled.

Bowen Island resident Tony Mainwaring, who was the first person on scene, says he was shocked to find both occupants alive and apparently suffering only minor injuries.

Mainwaring says he saw the helicopter flip upside down before it crashed near the Mount Gardner dock, on the north side of the island, after the pilot attempted to land in a field.

“As soon as (the helicopter) hit the ground, we heard it,” he says. “It was a huge impact.”

Mainwaring says he quickly gathered a few friends, went to the scene and found both people involved walking around near the crash site.

“I’ve never witnessed anything like that. I’m a faller and I’ve spent a lot of time in the bush, but I’ve never seen anything like that.”

He says the crash site had jet fuel spilled across it, so they worked to get the helicopter’s occupants away to safety in case a fire started.

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The incident has been turned over to the RCMP for investigation and co-ordination.

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