3 Alberta government workers injured in helicopter crash: union
EDMONTON — The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says three of its members were in a helicopter crash on the weekend.
The union says the workers, who are employed by Alberta Environment and Parks, were doing aerial surveys to count deer and moose as part of wildlife management.
It says all three workers were sent to Edmonton hospitals.
On Monday, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said a Bell 206B helicopter crashed near Camrose on Sunday.
The agency said a pilot and three passengers were on board and it was investigating the cause of the crash.
Alberta Environment and Parks says it will continue to provide assistance to the safety board’s investigation.
“Scientific surveys like these are important to determine population size of deer and moose populations and are needed to ensure that the department allocates game animals appropriately to ensure sustainability of the populations and provide opportunities to Albertans,” the ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
“Due to the nature of our work, Environment and Parks staff require a helicopter or small plane to carry out their duties. Some of this work, such as conducting aerial wildlife surveys, monitoring ice conditions on northern rivers and measuring snowpack in the mountains, are activities that require the use of an aircraft.”
The union said it expects the ministry to renew its focus on workplace safety.
“Workers need to know that their employer is doing everything to stop tragedies before they occur,” said Bonnie Gostola, union vice-president.
“No worker should have to worry about whether they’re going to make it home at the end of a shift.”
Jason Nixon, minister of environment and parks, said “our thoughts and prayers are with our employees and contractor injured in a helicopter crash while conducting an aerial wildlife survey.”
“At Alberta Environment and Parks, the safety of our employees — including our contractors — and public safety are part of our core values,” he said in a statement.