A 737 passenger jet crashed Saturday near Resolute Bay, Nunavut, in Canada's High Arctic, killing 12 people and injuring three others on board.
Nunavut RCMP said First Air charter flight 6560 was travelling from Yellowknife to Resolute Bay with 15 people on board, including four crew members.
A flight list was not immediately available and police did not have any information about the condition of the three survivors.
In a statement confirming the crash, First Air said the plane's last reported communication was at 12:40 p.m. CT, approximately eight kilometres from the airport, and that the plane went down 10 minutes later.
The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in CFB Trenton said helicopters and medical personnel are now at the site, and the RCMP said residents had been assisting in the rescue.
The CBC's Patricia Bell said some people in Resolute Bay saw the crash, not far from the runway of the airport that serves the hamlet of about 200 residents.
"People in the community are understandably quite upset," Bell said.
RCMP Const. Angelique Dignard said the crash site is less than two kilometres west of the Resolute Bay community and is accessible by ATV, though the terrain is rugged.
Hundreds of military personnel are currently in the area for the massive military exercise Operation Nanook. But the co-ordination centre says that the incident was not a part of a simulation planned for the operation.
The plane had been scheduled to continue on to Grise Fiord on Ellesmere Island.
Chris Krepski, spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said investigators were on the scene soon after the crash. They were already in Resolute, scheduled to participate next week in the military exercise.
Krepski said it was too soon to say what caused the crash.
"At this point it's gathering as much information as we can from the accident scene, from interviewing witnesses, speaking to air traffic control, getting weather records, maintenance records from the company, that kind of thing."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to travel to Resolute Bay on Monday for his annual trip to the Arctic while Gov.-Gen. David Johnston, who is currently touring the Arctic, was scheduled to hold events in Resolute Bay this weekend.
Kanata, Ont.-based First Air provides scheduled passenger and cargo service between 25 northern communities with connections to Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Ottawa.
The airline began in 1946 as Bradley Air Services, offering charter, surveying, passenger and cargo flights across northern Canada.