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Family of Quebec air crash victims 'devastated' by tragedy

Published 26/08/2015

The seaplane crashed during a sightseeing trip in the Les Bergeronnes area of Quebec province, Canada (Transportation Safety Board of Canada/PA)
The seaplane crashed during a sightseeing trip in the Les Bergeronnes area of Quebec province, Canada (Transportation Safety Board of Canada/PA)

A relative of a British family of four killed in a seaplane crash while on holiday in Canada has said they are "devastated" by the tragedy.

Fiona Hewitt, 52, her husband Richard, 50, and children 14-year-old Harry and 17- year-old Felicity died in the crash, the Quebec Coroner's Office said.

A family member said: "The Hewitt family, from Milton Keynes, were visiting the area as part of a special holiday.

"Their families are devastated by the news of this tragic incident and are struggling to come to terms with the loss of the entire family.

"Please respect the family's wishes for privacy in this deeply distressing time and we ask to be left to grieve in private."

The family were reportedly on the last day of their sightseeing trip to part of Quebec when the small aircraft they were travelling in crashed into the side of a mountain, killing all six on board.

The impact was so severe nobody could have survived, and pilot Romain Desrosiers and French passenger Emilie Delaitre also died.

The coroner's office said it will carry out further investigations into the deaths in the coming weeks and its findings will be published in a report in the coming months.

The family had been staying in Tadoussac, a village popular with tourists around 20km (12 miles) from where their plane crashed, according to the Journal of Quebec.

The newspaper reported that the family had booked into the hotel for three nights and were due to leave on Monday, but their plane came down on Sunday afternoon in the Les Bergeronnes area.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond offered his condolences to the relatives of those killed.

Mr Hammond said: "This terrible incident has taken the lives of all on board, including four British nationals. My thoughts and sympathy are with their family and friends at this difficult time.

"Our High Commission in Ottawa is in close contact with the Canadian authorities and we are providing consular assistance to the relatives of those who were killed."

A picture on the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's website shows the wreckage of the red and white Beaver aircraft on a rock edge next to thick woodland.

The plane, operated by Air Saguenay, took off from Lac Long in Tadoussac on a routine sightseeing flight before crashing.

An Air Saguenay official said the flight was supposed to last 20 minutes and flying conditions at the time were "excellent".

But cloud and rain significantly hampered efforts to access the steep and densely wooded area.

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