Three dead in Cato Ridge plane crash

2012-09-14 00:00

THREE people died last night when their Beechcraft Baron aircraft crashed near Cato Ridge.

It took police and rescue officials over an hour to walk to the site in poor visibility through dense bush. The scene was cordoned off, and officials would resume recovery of the bodies this morning, said Netcare911 spokesperson Chris Botha.

ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said it was not clear what caused the accident, but locals who found the wreckage said they saw black smoke coming from the plane before it crashed.

“ER24 paramedics and fire officials set off on foot to where locals told them that the aircraft had crashed,” she said.

“After about an hour of walking up the mountain through dense bush, they arrived at the crash site where they found the wreckage of a light fixed-wing aircraft, extensively damaged and well alight.

“All that they [paramedics] could make out was the charred remains of three people, and due to their extensive burns, it was not possible for them to be made out as adults or children, men or women,” she said.

South African Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Phindile Gwebu said they would dispatch their investigators to the scene today.

Jack Haskins of the K9 Search and Rescue unit said they were likely to camp at the crash site last night.

On Tuesday, three men survived a crash landing in a light aircraft outside Pietermaritzburg Airport.

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