Pretoria - A charter plane crashed into a factory near Wonderboom Airport shortly after take-off on Tuesday, leaving one person dead and 19 injured. It was believed that not all the injuries were of crew and passengers on the plane - belonging to Martin’s Air Charter - but that two, including one critically injured, were of people on the ground.
A call came through to emergency services shortly after 4pm that a plane had crashed near the Moloto Road in Kameeldrift East, and emergency vehicles battled to get to the site because of heavy traffic. Helicopters could be seen hovering above the scene as the sun set, with reports that the injured had been ferried to hospitals in Pretoria and Joburg.
Curious motorists abandoned their cars and moved closer on foot to get a better look.
An eyewitness told the Pretoria News that he saw a large plane bank low over another factory and its wing clip an electricity line. He then heard a loud bang as it hit the ground. Images shared on social media showed flames and smoke billowing from the wreckage, with bits of engine and other debris scattered around the area.
The fuselage was split with seats broken inside. It was unclear if that was from the crash or emergency services using jaws of life to extricate trapped passengers.
Sad situation at Wonderboom. pic.twitter.com/xMMG7fe5WZ
Tshwane emergency services spokesperson Johan Pieterse confirmed the fatality and injuries. Late into the evening officials remained at the scene but Pieterse said all the victims had been moved.
He said he could not release more information as the South African Civil Aviation Authority were investigating the accident. He said it was one of the biggest plane crashes in his time.
MMC road and transport Sheila Lynn Senkubuge was also on the scene to offer support.