Remains of 2nd Canadian military helicopter crash victim identified

Authorities identified the partial remains of Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, the second victim found after last month's military helicopter accident in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Department of National Defense says the Ontario Medical Examiner's Office used the DNA to identify partial remains, which were recovered as part of the search that followed the April 29 cyclone crash that killed six lives.

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"The CAF community expresses its deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all of our six members," says the statement. "We hope they can find some comfort in knowing that we are all suffering from them."

The lieutenant's remains. Abbigail Cowbrough, 23, has already been found, identified and repatriated.

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Family and friends hug each other during a repatriation ceremony for the six Canadian Forces soldiers killed in a military helicopter crash in the Mediterranean, at Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario, on May 6. (Frank Gunn / Canadian Press)

The other four members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Captain Kevin Hagen, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Deputy Lieutenant. Matthew Pyke and Mestre Cpl. Cousins ​​Matthew, are missing and reportedly dead.

MacDonald, a pilot, was originally from New Glasgow, N.S.

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"Captain MacDonald's family and the families of the other crew members lost in the accident were all notified of this identification," says the statement.

A search for the rest of the remains is underway.

Biggest loss of life since 2007 attack in Afghanistan

The accident, the cause of which remains under investigation, represents the biggest loss of life in one day for the Canadian Armed Forces since six Canadian soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan on Easter Sunday 2007.

The helicopter was sent on board the HMCS Fredericton on a NATO mission that patrols the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The military says they were returning to the ship after a training exercise when it crashed.

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Military statements and the head of defense personnel, General Jonathan Vance, said for the first time that the ship had "lost contact" with the helicopter, although the forces later acknowledged that the crew aboard Fredericton saw it dive into deep water. .

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The helicopter's flight and cabin data recorders have been recovered and are back in Canada for analysis. The Department of Defense says a team that includes social workers and military chaplains has been sent to Italy to provide mental health support to the Fredericton team, which has been authorized to communicate with loved ones at home.

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