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Plane towing ‘will you marry me’ banner in horror crash with one passenger dead

2 min read

A romantic proposal turned into tragedy when a light aircraft crashed in a park in Montreal, in Canada.

A Cessna 172 towing a banner that read “Will you marry me Chantal?” crashed into Dieppe Park, near the city’s Concorde Bridge, narrowly avoiding the site of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival which was taking place nearby.

The pilot of the aircraft, Gian Piero Ciambella, was rushed to hospital but his passenger was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

“One person is sadly deceased in this event, and a second person was transported to the hospital,” police spokesperson Veronique Comtois told reporters.

Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the crash. They are preparing to transport the wreckage of the aircraft to an Ottawa lab to continue their research.

"We haven’t ruled out anything yet. We need to take a close look at everything," says Chris Krepski, a spokesperson for Canada's Transportation Safety Board.

Ciambella has yet to regain consciousness, but he is expected to provide valuable information.

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Local Laurel Scala told CTV news that she had seen the aircraft pass overhead at around 6pm on Saturday, moments before the crash.

"It seemed like the normal height that a plane like that would fly when it has a banner," she said. "We struggled to read what the banner said… It said 'Will you marry me,' and we couldn't make out the Chantal because it was backwards."

Krepski says the banner the plane was towing hasn’t been found and the pilot may have jettisoned it into the nearby St.Lawrence river before the crash.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante tweeted that she was "monitoring developments following the crash,” and expressed her condolences for the passenger’s relatives.

"My thoughts are with the family of the deceased," she said.

The plane, which took off from the St-Mathieu-de-Laprairie Airport at 5:46 pm appears to be the same Cessna that suffered an engine failure and made an emergency landing on Montreal’s Parc Avenue in 2006.

At the time, Ciambella’s landing on a busy road was described as an "extraordinary piloting feat."

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