Four people are confirmed dead after a helicopter crashed in northwestern BC.

It happened at around eight this morning, when the chartered Hughes MD-500D Helecopter reportedly crashed upside-down into the Kitsault River near Alice arm – about 150 kilomotres northeast of Prince Rupert.

Navy second lieutenant Jill Strelieff {struh-lye-uff} says crews initially confirmed two people were dead, but that changed once more rescuers arrived.


Crews had to use parachutes to reach the crash site, due to the rugged terrain in the area.

The RCMP and the transportation safety board are investigating.

The chopper is owned by Pitt Meadows based Prism Helicopters, and it was being chartered by a mining exploration company.

Meanwhile, officials say nine people are missing and feared dead in a chopper crash in California.

The helicopter was carrying 11 firefighters and two crew when it went down in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.