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One death confirmed after Snowbird jet crashes in Kamloops, B.C.

Sunday, May 17th 2020, 9:32 pm - The Snowbirds have been completing a cross-country tour to boost morale amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Royal Canadian Air Force has confirmed that one member of the CF Snowbirds team has died and one has sustained serious injuries after a jet crashed in Kamloops, British Columbia on May 17.

Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Snowbirds, has been identified as the victim that sustained fatal injuries, as reported by CBC News.

Casey is from Halifax, NS and her biography on the RCAF website says that she worked in Halifax, NS and Belleville, ON as a journalist for several years. She then joined the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2014 as a direct entry officer before joining the Snowbirds in November 2018.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian has stated that the military is sending an investigation team to Kamloops and the Snowbirds will remain grounded for now.

Kamloops This Week reported that two jets took off from Kamloops Airport around 11:30 a.m. local time on May 17, bound for Comox.

One jet took off then began circling before it crashed near Glenview Avenue and Schreiner Street. The plane reportedly hit a house when it crashed in the residential area.

On Sunday afternoon, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix tweeted that one person was taken to hospital after the crash.

Reports on social media showed the initial damage of the plane crash, including first responders addressing a fire that started after the crash.

The Snowbirds have been completing a cross-country tour to boost morale amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Facebook page for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds stated that they were originally set to take off from Kamloops at 10 a.m. on May 17 before landing in Kelowna at 11:00 a.m. The group tweeted that this plan had changed due to the weather conditions at that time.

"We know some areas are starting to clear up, however transit through some of the mountain passes have very low cloud cover which is unsafe for flying nine jets. We are going to (reposition) to Comox to start working our way west," their Twitter post states.

Environment Canada had issued a special weather statement on Sunday morning for the Okanagan that warned of the heavy rain on Sunday evening.

Check back for updates as additional information becomes available.

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