Canadian air tanker crashes while fighting Australia bushfires, three dead

Three people have died fighting the Australian bushfires, after the air tanker they were in crashed.

The aircraft was carrying fire retardant when it went down in the Snowy Monaro area.

The victims were reportedly American residents.

There were no survivors of the crash.

New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berekjiklian.


"It demonstrates the dangerous work currently being undertaken and it also demonstrates the conditions that our firefighters are working under. There are in excess of 70 aircraft that have been used today alone and today is a stark and horrible reminder of the dangerous conditions that our volunteers, our emergency services personnel across a number of agencies undertake on a daily basis."

The cause of the incident is still unknown.

The plane had been leased by Canadian aerial firefighting company Coulson Aviation, which had a second plane of the same model working in the Australian bushfires operation.

Coulson grounded its large air tanker fleet following the accident, pending a review to rule out any systemic issue, such as a fuel problem.

The incident brings the bushfires death toll to 32 since September.

One billion animals are also estimated to have perished as the fires incinerated 2,500 homes and a total area of bushland one-third the size of Germany.