Police: Witness saw planes going down

2011-08-15 15:17

Johannesburg - A search and rescue team was hiking to an area where a Maake community leader said he saw two light aircraft go down, Limpopo police said on Monday.

"As soon as we got the information from the man we asked the defence force to use their helicopter to go to the village," Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

"The helicopter couldn't get through because of the weather and so we have dispatched a team of rescue personnel and police who are on the ground now."

The route to the claimed wreckage site was about two hours long and was not accessible by air, he said.

Mulaudzi also denied reports carried by SABC radio news that a wreckage had been found.

"We are at the joint-operation centre, everything is directed from here.

"The reports were disturbing to us [police] and the family," he said.

The Albatross planes, carrying six people each, were presumed to be in the George's Valley area, between Polokwane and Tzaneen.

Weather problems

They took off from a landing strip in Tarentaal, a small farming community in Tzaneen, on Sunday and were headed to Rand Airport in Germiston.

Overnight foot patrols had searched in Tzaneen for the two planes which went missing while returning to Gauteng after an air show there.

The air search was suspended on Monday morning because of bad weather but ground searching had continued.

Search and Rescue SA said the weather was looking better on Monday afternoon and they would be able to continue the air search.

An SA National Defence Force helicopter, with a rescue team of 10, was also searching the area, said spokesperson Johnny Smit.

It was the only aircraft that was well-equipped to fly through the poor weather.

The search on Monday afternoon had moved south of Wolkberg, which is part of the Drakensberg range, about 80km from Tzaneen.

  • Nintendo - 2011-08-15 15:32

    Biskit this is so childish or maybe you are a child afterall....

  • Centronix - 2011-08-15 15:37

    So SABC lied? such chops

      JohannV - 2011-08-15 15:42

      SABC usually lies - they're the ANC mouthpiece, after all.

      ozling - 2011-08-15 16:24

      at johan wat does SABC has anytin to do wit ANC n da plane crash, be real

      Neil - 2011-08-15 16:53

      @OZling: They can not get their facts straight, even on news24. 1st they say the planes were found, then they were not found and now they are found again. And Yes, the SABC is the mouthpiece for the ANC, only a fool would deny this.

  • Cynix - 2011-08-15 15:39

    What a shame - the old sea recce planes were probably in a better condition (as were the pilots) than what we have to do with today! Sympathies all round!

  • John5067 - 2011-08-15 15:40

    I am hoping they are found alive

      John5067 - 2011-08-15 15:48

      and i hope the weather clears soon so they can find them quickly

  • boep - 2011-08-15 15:40

    Biskit you are one sick puppy: I hope you rot in hell!!!!!!

  • DandyLion - 2011-08-15 15:46

    OMG, it's almost 24 hours there a chance for survivors still? How sad this is!

      MelJay - 2011-08-15 15:54

      there is ALWAYS a chance --- until someone tells me otherwise!

      Tolerant - 2011-08-15 16:17

      I agree, it is a very small chance.

  • MelJay - 2011-08-15 15:52

    Prayers, faith and positive attitude! C'mon people we need to stand together and spread the word to pray for all these passengers. Family members (and friends, me included) are awaiting news about this incident! Let's remain positive that all 12 passengers will be found alive. There are plenty of volunteers out there right now doing their best to find them. S&R, K9, MSAR, ORRU -- GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL! And be safe too

      Virginia - 2011-08-15 15:58

      Good for you MelJay, we are all praying for their safe return, including pilots, unless they are counted in the six on each plane. Families our thoughts and prays are with you.

      Fedup - 2011-08-15 15:58

      MelJay; Dean and Johan, our thoughts and prayers are with you, you have had many misleading articles throughout the day, stay positive and brave. Biskit - your a frikkin idiot

  • Lee - 2011-08-15 15:55

    Hoping for good news as soon as possible. The human body can survive incredibly harsh conditions. Does anyone else find it deeply disturbing how badly the press has handled this tragic, sensitive story?

  • trevor06 - 2011-08-15 15:56

    I am going to be honest, I am not the most devout christian, but i stumbled upon this prayer, which i think is appropriate! O, Blessed Mother and St Joseph, you searched when your Son Jesus disappeared when he was twelve. You would not give up until he was found. You know the pain of having someone missing, and the joy of finding them, as you found your son. Help those who are searching now, to find the answers to their questions, and an end to their searching. Inspire people to be vigilant, so that their eyes and ears may see and hear news that will bring hope. Comfort those who feel lonely and sad because the one they love has vanished. Be with them in the storm and guide them in their efforts. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

      Met - 2011-08-16 08:41

      Just delete the first line

      Tish - 2011-08-16 09:34

      I really like this prayer, and all though you say you are not a devout Christian, your heart and mind are in the right place to print this prayer. I ask our Lord to comfort and make strong the families and friends of the people who are on those planes, to give them strength at this sad time. God Bless them all

  • GinSA1 - 2011-08-15 15:57

    Why has News24 removed the article they published earlier on, with the info they got from the SABC report? The one saying the wrechage had been found? Do you not have investigative journalists there? Is everything you publish copied and pasted from alternative publications?

      Tolerant - 2011-08-15 16:18

      They knew they made a mistake.

      Neil - 2011-08-15 17:00

      No the editor was prob on his/her 2 hour tea break.. I also want a job @ News24

  • Domingos Pinto - 2011-08-15 15:58

    I believe even @PigSpotter reported it yesterday, and he allegedly went to Rand airport himself. Wonder if he told people who he was....

  • Vela Stardust - 2011-08-15 16:05

    I suggest the news media 'shut up' until such time facts can be confirmed about the missing planes.

      Fedup - 2011-08-15 16:13

      Thank you, I agree

  • Peter - 2011-08-15 16:33

    The most common cause of light aircraft crashes.Controlled flight into high ground.The mountain was too high and the plane was too low.I lost a brother-in-law a few years in the same circumstances

      Mikemcc - 2011-08-15 16:46

      @Peter, to claim that Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) is the most common cause of light aircraft crashes is a bit off the mark. Light aircraft crashes are a result of many factors. CFIT may well be the case here but there are still no clues yet as to the cause of these aircraft going missing.

      Dmitri - 2011-08-15 17:39

      @Mikemcc - Do you know if those birds had GWPS?

  • Jamba - 2011-08-15 17:05

    I pray for them.

  • DORK VADER - 2011-08-15 17:26

    Whaat. It was alwayd doomes with a name like Albatros.... The Albatros L 58 was a German airliner of the 1920s. It was a single-engine cantilever monoplane which accommodated the pilot in an open cockpit at the top of the fuselage, and seated five-six passengers within it.....

  • cepotgieter - 2011-08-16 08:07

    Its pathetic how ppl can change ANYTHING in the news into something racist.... For god sake get over yourselves!! Yes the sabc got it wrong! They r idiots... So what....

  • lindi.gross - 2011-08-16 08:52

    I am shocked at the awful remarks and language rampant in this medium... a tragedy occurs, people using bad language and bantering with each other! Always the same pathetic individuals it seems. Surely this can be curtailed? It is undignified and uncalled for in a public arena. Lost for further comments...except that pilots are irresponsible taking off in such weather conditions. But, it happens time and again. Nobody learns from these heartbreaking lessons. I would not board an ill-equipped light aircraft to fly over mountains under any conditions!!

  • Danielle - 2011-08-16 09:20

    Please Lord !! I believe that nothing is impossible for you and that survivors will be found !! Keep those prayers up people.

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