Seven people have died after a small private plane crashed on an island off the coast of eastern Quebec on Tuesday.
Former Canadian Parliamentarian Jean Lapierre and several members of his family were among the seven killed in the plane crash, according to a law enforcement official.
The political commentator, his two brothers and a sister were on their way to the funeral of Lapierre’s father in Iles-De-La-Madeleine when the plane went down, the official said.
Lapierre’s wife, Nicole Beaulieu, also was on board, CBC News reported.
The identities of the two other deceased are not yet known.
Lapierre, 59, had tweeted on Monday that his father had died from Parkinson’s disease.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter: “Shaken by the sudden death of the Hon. Jean Lapierre on the Îles-de-la-Madeleine. A great loss to the political world.”
Former Prime Minister Paul Martin said: “He was a very good political analyst, he was one of the best, but he was also a superb political figure in this country and it was a great privilege to work with him.”
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard tweeted a message in French to Lapierre’s Twitter account: “You were loved and admired. Thank you for all you gave us.”
The plane crashed in a field while approaching the island’s regional airport around 11:40 a.m. local time, killing a total of seven people, according to Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau of the Quebec Provincial Police.
One victim suffered a heart attack and died on the way to a hospital, CTV reported.
At the time of the crash, there was snow, cross winds and freezing rain conditions, Thibaudeau said.
“Flight conditions were not ideal at that time, and what role that played is yet to be determined,” Thibaudeau said.
Transportation Safety Board of Canada spokesman Chris Krepski told CTV it’s “too early to say” if weather played a role in the crash.
Quebec Police and the transport safety board sent investigators the crash site, according to Thibaudeau.
The plane, an American-registered 1982 Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, reportedly belonged to a private company, according to CBC and CTV.
The plane left Saint-Hubert airport on the south shore of Montreal earlier Tuesday morning, Thibaudeau said.
Lapierre originally served in the House of Commons from 1979 to 1993 and later served in the Bloc Quebecois caucus, CTV reported.
His political career was followed by a stint as a political analyst and commentator, according to the Canadian Parliament website.
Lapierre also served in the House of Commons as a Liberal Parliament member from 2004 to 2007, according to the site