Regina - After the crash of a West Wind Aviation's ATR 42-300 near Fond-du-Lac, Saskatchewan, Canada on December 13, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its first findings.

The Canadian authority is trying to understand why the aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Fond-du-Lac while carrying 22 passengers and 3 crew members for a short flight to Stony Rapids.

The device seems destroyed. All occupants survived but a number of passengers and a crewmember suffered serious injuries, the TSB confirms. Its on-site experts retrieved and secured the flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.

Investigators found that the aircraft struck trees and then the terrain. The wreckage traced a furrow at least 200 meters long in the forest. The aircraft did not overturn but leans sharply to the right. The left side seems the most damaged. The fuselage broke in the third row of seats.

The investigation involves the French BEA, ATR, Pratt & Whitney and Transport Canada.

At the moment, the TSB to examine flight instruments, radar and weather data. The board will also be interested in aircraft maintenance records, pilot training and skills, and operating procedures.

For its part, West Wind Aviation has decided to ground its four other ATRs during an internal investigation. However, operations could resume as early as this week.