On Sunday August 21, 2011, First Air Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Chris Ferris, made the following statement to the media from the First Air Head Office in Kanata:
As you are aware, yesterday at 12:40pm First Air experienced a tragic loss of charter flight 6560. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and offer our sincere condolences to the families.
The details we have at this time are as follows: a First Air Boeing 737-200 combi travelling from Yellowknife to Resolute Bay, went down 5 miles from the airport. The flight was carrying 11 passengers and four crew. There were 12 fatalities including all four crew members.
Our first priority has been contacting and looking after the families of passengers and crew. Out of respect for the passengers, our crew, and their families, we are not releasing any names or passenger details.
The three injured passengers were Medivac’d to Iqaluit for further treatment last evening. Two of the three passengers have since been moved to Ottawa, while the third remains in Iqaluit in stable condition.
At this time the cause of the accident is unknown. The Transportation Safety Board is conducting their investigation and First Air is cooperating fully.
Our thoughts and focus are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew; and the community of Resolute Bay. Field teams including counsellors, have been deployed to provide support in Resolute Bay, Yellowknife and other main stations in our network.
We would like to thank the Canadian Military whose on-site presence and immediate response was instrumental in the rescue efforts.
We will be providing further updates as they become available.