One person is dead and another is in a critical but stable condition after a plane crash near the Jasper town site Sunday afternoon.

According to officials, the plane crashed into the Athabasca River near the Jasper Airport site. Emergency services arrived at the location around 1:30 p.m., where the 31-year-old passenger was declared dead.

The pilot, a man whose age was not released, was taken to hospital by STARS and said to be in critical condition.

According to RCMP, the plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

"An aircraft was taking off eastbound, however it experienced difficulties and then crashed approximately one mile away from the airport," Const. Shelley Nasheim told CTV News Edmonton.

It is unknown what caused the incident, but Transport Canada has opened an investigation.

The pilot and passenger were the only two people on board.

RCMP said the actions of people at the scene of the crash likely helped in the survivor's rescue. Video obtained by CTV News Edmonton shows a number of people pulling a person out of the water, and bystanders administering CPR.

"We can't advise against putting yourself in harm's way, but in situations where people have done their assessment and are able to help another human being, that is certainly applauded," Cpl. Chris Warren said.

The airport is located about 15 kilometres north of Jasper on Highway 16.

Traffic in the area returned to normal by 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.