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21 August 2011

Single passenger survives 737 crash in Canadian Arctic

20 August 2011; First Air; 737-200; flight 6560; Resolute Bay, Canada: The aircraft (C-GNWN) was on a chartered domestic Canadian flight from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to to Resolute Bay in Nunavut Territory. The aircraft crashed near the runway during a landing attempt and broke up.

There were four crew members and 11 passengers on board. While both fight attendants survived, both pilots were killed, and only one passenger, a seven-year-old girl, survived. Her six-year-old sister was among the 10 passengers who did not survive.

This was the 71st time that airline passengers were killed on a 737. The previous fatal crash was in August 2010 in South America. This crash is also the first fatal accident in North America involving a jet airliner since a 2006 crash of a Delta Connection CRJ-100 in Lexington, KY.

Prior to this fatal crash, the airline had two prior serious, though nonfatal, incidents involving of their 737 fleet. In 2001, a First Air 737 landed short of the runway Yellowknife and was seriously damaged. While the aircraft was too damaged to be repaired, none of the 98 passengers or six crew members were injured. In a 2004 landing incident in Edmonton, Alberta, the aircraft landed to the side of the runway and struck a number of lights and a sign before the crew was able to come to a stop on the runway. This aircraft returned to service, and was the same one involved in the fatal Resolute Bay crash.

Additional Resources
Fatal 737 plane crashes
Fatal airliner crash rates by model

CBC news report on the crash