Jean Lapierre
Former Canadian transport minister Jean Lapierre and his family members were killed Tuesday after their small private plane crashed on an island off the east coast of Quebec. In this photo, Lapierre is seen during a news conference in Montreal, Feb. 5, 2004. REUTERS/Shaun Best SB/GAC

A small private plane crash Tuesday on an island off the east coast of Quebec killed seven people, including the former Canadian transport minister Jean Lapierre, officials said. The plane reportedly went down as it approached Iles-de-la-Madeleine Airport amid heavy winds and snow.

The twin-engine chartered aircraft was a Mitsubishi turboprop belonging to a private company. The plane took off from the St-Hubert regional airport, south of Montreal, earlier in the morning, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

"The crash took place in a field on approach to the airport," Quebec provincial police Sgt. Daniel Thibodeau, told the AP, adding that the weather conditions were "not ideal" for flying.

Lapierre’s wife, two brothers and sister, were among the dead. They were traveling to attend the funeral of Lapierre's father.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to his Twitter account to express grief over "the sudden death" of Lapierre and called it a great loss to the political world. Former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin also reportedly remembered Lapierre by calling him a wonderful man who understood the issues and loved people.

A team of investigators is being deployed by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to determine the cause of the crash.