Two men killed in farm plane crash
Durban - Two men died after a light aircraft crashed into a stream and caught alight in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Monday night.
The plane crashed near the D459 road, 14km from Newcastle. ER24 spokesman, Russel Meiring, said paramedics found the wreck in a stream.
A veld fire had started after the crash.
“Paramedics discovered two lifeless bodies were lying some distance from the aircraft.
“Both men had already succumbed to their injuries. It was apparent that both men had been ejected from the aircraft upon impact,” he said.
Initial reports are that the plane took off from Newcastle, bound for Gauteng.
Police spokesman, Colonel Jay Niacker said the plane went down on Glencalder farm at about 7.20pm.
“An investigating will be conducted by SA Civil Aviation Authority,” he said.
According to the Newcastle Courier, the plane, a Cessna 172, had been en route to Rand Airport in Johannesburg. It crashed on a farm near Newcastle, the newspaper reported.
Robert Mckenzie, spokes-man for KZN Emergency Medical Services, said the wreckage had caught fire, setting the surrounding dry grass alight.
Local fire services were called to fight the veld fire.
Newcastle mayor, Afzul Rehman, said last night that the bodies were still unidentified.
“They were out of town pilots who died in a plane crash towards Vulintaba,” he said.
“Our prayers are with the families.”
Newcastle lies about 50 kilmometres south-east of the small Free State town of Memel, which has the dubious distinction of having been the site of South Africa’s first commercial airline crash that occurred on May 15, 1948.
Timothy Hedges, a historian in Memel, said:
“The Skyliner - a derivative of the Douglas DC-3, an American fixed wing, propeller driven aircraft - belonging to Mercury Airways had left Stamford Hill Airport in Durban heading for Palmietfontein Airport in Germiston (now OR International Airport).”