Sunday 19 August 2018

Fears for pilot and seven-year-old boy after light aircraft crashes

The incident happened near the village of Clonbollogue on Sunday afternoon.

Emergency services are looking for the crashed aircraft (Niall Carson/PA)
Emergency services are looking for the crashed aircraft (Niall Carson/PA)

By David Young, Press Association

A plane carrying a man and young boy has crashed minutes after 16 parachutists jumped from the aircraft.

Emergency services are at the scene of Sunday afternoon’s crash in Co Offaly.

The pilot, believed to be from the UK, and a seven year old local boy were on board when the plane went down in bog land.

Gardai said there was no confirmation on whether either had survived the crash.

The aircraft had taken off from Clonbullogue airfield around two kilometres away at around 2.25pm. The facility is popular with skydivers.

A Garda spokesman said there were 16 parachutists on board.

“All 16 made their jump from the craft,” he said.

“However, witnesses then saw the aircraft crash shortly afterwards. There were two people on board, the pilot and a seven-year-old boy. The pilot is believed to be a UK national.

“The plane was later located a number of kilometres from the airfield crashed in bog land. A rescue/recovery operation is under way.”

Local councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick said the airfield had a long established reputation for parachuting.

“People would be over there all the time, especially at weekends in the summer, a lot of people parachuting and a lot of fundraising jumpers,” he said.

“It’s a great shock to hear of an accident like that happening.”

Fellow Offaly councillor Noel Cribbin said: “This is a big shock to the area.

“These flights have been happening for the last 20 years and this is the first time I’ve heard of a plane going down – it is very worrying.”

Press Association

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