A Canadian Forces Snowbird jet has crashed in Kamloops.
Two jets took off from Kamloops Airport at about 11:30 a.m., bound for Comox, when one rose, then circled and crashed in an area near Glenview Avenue. There are reports the plane hit a house on that street and that the pilot managed to eject before the jet crashed.
There is smoke rising from the crash site as emergency vehicles descend on the area. The house is on fire.
The pilot landed on the roof of a house on nearby Schreiner Street.
Gurjit Sidhu witnessed the crash and told KTW a pilot was seen on the roof of a house, reportedly with back and/or neck injuries.
“I just saw, in the sky, something falling. I saw a pilot ejected, then I heard a big noise, like a bomb,” Sidhu said.
Another witness, a Kamloops man who did not wish to have his name published, said he was at the airport for an hour before the crash to watch the Snowbirds squadron take off as they were to continue their cross-Canada tour by heading to Vancouver lsland.
He said two jets took off together and all looked normal as they rose above the airport.
“All of a sudden, one of the planes suddenly went up, straight up, quite high, then it started dropping and doing a barrel roll,” he said. “It did a few spirals and I saw the ejector seat pop out. Then I saw a big fireball, an explosion.”
He said those watching the planes take off initially did not realize anything was wrong as the one Snowbird began climbing vertically, then descended with barrel rolls.
“We thought it was going to do some kind of cool trick,” he said. “It was incredible. I can’t believe I saw it.
Kamloops resident Rob McCaskill was at the Brock Shopping Centre when he spotted two of the jets taking off from the Kamloops Airport. He said he saw the two jets part in different directions not long after leaving the ground. He looked away and then shortly afterwards, heard a 'pop' sound.