Three killed in plane crash in Co. Down

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Air investigators will try to find out today what caused a plane crash that killed three people.

The light aircraft came down in misty conditions in a field near the Co Down harbour town of Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, just after 9pm yesterday.

Three bodies were recovered from the wreckage and emergency services were working overnight to find out whether anyone else was on board or in the area of the crash site, near the Belmont Road.

It is understood the four-seat aircraft had taken off from the Isle of Man and was attempting to land on a privately-owned airstrip near the crash site.

Stormont minister and Assembly member for the area Margaret Ritchie described the incident as a tragedy.

"This is a very sad and tragic occasion," said the SDLP representative.

"While not yet knowing the full details or the individuals involved I would offer my heartfelt sympathies to their families.

"I would hope a full investigation is now carried out to see exactly how something like this could have happened."

Ulster Unionist MLA for South Down John McAllister said the weather in the area had closed in and worsened rapidly during yesterday evening.

"This is an awful tragedy," he said.

"My first thoughts are obviously with the families of those involved.

"We also must find out what went wrong and how this happened."

Earlier this month two men escaped serious injury when a light aircraft crash landed in a field in Co Tyrone.

The pilot and passenger required hospital treatment when the plane came down close to Annaghquinn Road outside Pomeroy.