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Passengers Trudge Through Forest After Fatal Plane Crash

April 6, 1989

CARLETON, Quebec (AP) _ Two men trudged for six hours through snow-covered forest to get help for three injured people after a small plane crashed into a mountain in northern Quebec, killing the pilot, authorities said.

Searchers used snowmobiles to rescue the three who had remained with the wrecked aircraft, witnesses said.

″As far as I’m concerned we had no choice but to press on because we would have died if we didn’t,″ said Marcel Rancourt, who hiked more than six miles through thick woods to alert authorities.

Killed in the crash was pilot Michel Paquet, 34, of Quebec City, said Quebec provincial police Sgt. Guy Viau.

The aircraft, carrying the pilot and five passengers, all from Quebec City, struck a mountain Tuesday morning in the Gaspe Peninsula, authorities said.

Rancourt, 36, and Emile Gilbert, 43, said they pulled the three injured passengers from the wrecked aircraft, made a fire and then decided to walk for help at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to Canadian Press.

After walking for six hours, they came to a house that happened to be the home of Carleton Mayor of Denis Henry.

Authorities were alerted and rescue crews, using snowmobiles, found the other survivors early Wednesday and took them to a hospital.

Dr. Jean Matton, medical director of Baie des Chaleurs Hospital in nearby Maria, said Robert Thibault, 35, was seriously injured in the crash and was in stable condition.

The other two passengers, Francine Lelievre, 30, and Guy Tremblay, 35, were hospitalized for observation.

Authorities had not determined the cause of the crash of the chartered eight-seat Piper Apache, which went down about 250 miles northeast of Quebec City.

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