Plane crash on Baynesfield farm

2010-03-31 00:00

THE police rescue unit, Netcare 911 and ER24 para­medics tried in vain to reach the site of a light aircraft accident, which was reported in Baynesfield valley yesterday afternoon.

The search did not start immediately after the incident was reported because the call reporting the incident was thought to be a hoax.

The police and paramedics were told that a yellow light aircraft had crashed in the valley, but later another caller said it was a hoax.

Late in the afternoon, police and paramedics confirmed that an aircraft did crash in the area, and a search party from both units went to the scene.

An SABC crew also descended on the area and saw paramedics driving up and down the valley trying to find an access point to the area where the aircraft is said to have crashed.

Jeff Wicks of Netcare 911 said the police had reached the person who reported the crash and were taken to a farm in Baynesfield.

Wicks said the paramedics were then contacted by police, who claimed to have found what appeared to be the wreckage of a light aircraft in dense brush at the foot of a valley on a farm in Baynesfield.

Wicks said it is not clear whether there are any survivors because nobody has been able to reach the site.

Derrick Banks of ER24 said 15 community members witnessed the crash and identified the aircraft as a “yellow small” plane. He said no party could reach the area due to bad weather and poor visibility because the search had started very late.

Yesterday evening, Civil Aviation Authority spokeswoman Phindiwe Gwebu said they have no information about the crash. “Our investigators are on standby, waiting for confirmation of the site and wreckage. As soon as that information comes our way, then the investigators will be dispatched to the scene,” said Gwebu.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said: “The dog unit was dispatched to the area and searched until late, but could not reach the actual site. Tomorrow morning a chopper will be sent to resume the search.”

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