independent

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Four killed as plane plunges into peat bog

Emergency services at the crash site in the Wicklow mountains.
Emergency services at the crash site in the Wicklow mountains.

BUCHANAN

A TRIP in a four seater light aircraft turned to tragedy when it nosed dived into a bog in the Wicklow Mountains, killing three members of the one family and a young 14 year old passenger travelling with them.

Pilot Sharif Booz, his Irish-born wife Margaret, their 14 year old son Ayman and his friend, Charlie Froud, were the only occupants of the Piper-PA 28 plane and all perished in the accident.

The plane left Gloucester Airport just before 10 a.m. on Saturday morning and it's believed they were travelling to Kilrush airfield in County Kildare to meet some Irish relatives in Newbridge. The last radar sighting of the vessel was at 12.17 p.m. on Saturday.

Gardaí were alerted about the missing aircraft in the evening and details of its last radar position in the Wicklow Mountains were handed over to them.

Once news broke about the missing plane, the gardaí received a number of calls, including one from a hillwalker who heard what they thought was an aircraft in difficulty in an area south of Hollywood earlier that same day.

At 9.50 p.m. The Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team and the Dublin/ Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team were requested to aid in the search of the aircraft last seen over the Wicklow Mountains.

Mountain rescue personnel worked alongside the Coastguard to try and finalise the search area, while rescue teams began searching forestry tracks in the area.

With darkness descending it was decided to hold off from a full-scale search until first light Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning at 7 a.m. the two Wicklow based mountain rescue teams in cooperation with the Gardaí, the coastguard and other rescue teas like SEMRA, Mournes Mountain Rescue Team and The Search and Rescue Dogs Association (SARDA) and the Civil Defence all set off to locate the aircraft and the four passengers on board.

The mountain rescue teams were dispatched to the mountainous y h

a f e A m area from Corriebracks, Lobawn and the Sugarloaf stretching south of the Blessington Lakes as far as the Glen of Imaal where a low flying aircraft in trouble was spotted the previous day.

Sadly at 9.30 a.m. members dispatched as part of a rapid response mountain rescue unit located the missing aircraft, embedded in peat at Corriebracks near Hollywood. There were no survivors. All of the deceased are from Lower Almonds-

bury, Bristol.

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