Canadian Air Force jet celebrating coronavirus workers crashes into home

Tim Stelloh and Caitlin Fichtel

A Canadian air force jet celebrating front-line workers in the coronavirus pandemic crashed into a British Columbia home on Sunday, authorities and witnesses said.

The Royal Canadian Air Force said in a statement that the incident occurred in Kamloops, northeast of Vancouver. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was injured or killed in the crash or what caused it.

The flight was part of “Operation Inspiration,” a nationwide mission aimed at saluting first responders and other essential workers. The Snowbirds are a military acrobatics squadron based in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

A Canadian Forces plane crashed into a neighborhood near Kamloops, British Columbia, on May 17, 2020. (Kerri Turatus)

A video that appeared to capture the crash showed two jets taking off and flying side by side for a few seconds. One of them veers into the sky and seconds later is seen spiraling toward the ground.

Kamloops Airport, located just west of the city, said in a tweet that emergency crews were responding.

Kerri Turatus, who lives in the neighborhood where the plane went down, said the aircraft hit a house, engulfing it in flames.

It “sounded like a gunshot outside my window,” said Turatus, 30.

Flames and debris at the site of the plane crash.

She saw a "big black circle ring of smoke” in the sky, she said, adding that part of the plane’s wreckage was in the street, and she could see a wing sticking out of a neighbor’s garage. Photos showed the structure on fire.

It wasn't clear if anyone was home at the time.

Operation Inspiration was announced on April 29 and began in Nova Scotia, on the country’s east coast.