British tourist killed in New Zealand plane crash
Saturday 04 September 2010
A Briton was among nine people who died when a light aircraft belonging to a skydiving company crashed and burst into flames near a popular tourist spot in New Zealand's Southern Alps today.
The plane caught fire shortly after take-off from an airstrip at Fox Glacier on the country's South Island, said Ian Henderson, a spokesman for local ambulance services.
The pilot and eight passengers were killed, Greymouth Police Senior Sgt Allyson Ealam said.
Four tourists from Ireland, England, Germany and Australia, and five New Zealanders, including the pilot, were among the dead, police said. Next of kin were being contacted and the victims' identities would not be released until later, police said.
The cause of the early-afternoon accident was not immediately known.
Witnesses said the plane had just lifted off from the small airstrip when it appeared to begin spiralling.
"It was like a fireball, and then there was big puffs of smoke going up. (The plane) was engulfed in flames immediately," one told the New Zealand Herald.
New Zealand's stuff.co.nz website said there was only one skydiving company operating out of the Fox Glacier airstrip, Skydive New Zealand, but a company spokeswoman reached by telephone refused to comment. An answering machine message at the company said skydiving had ceased for the day.
Police said the aircraft was a Fletcher fixed-wing plane of a type designed and built in New Zealand. The planes are popularly used for scenic flights and skydiving in the area around the Southern Alps.
Fox Glacier is on the western coast of the South Island, about 90 miles from the main city, Christchurch, which was hit yesterday by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that damaged buildings and injured at least two people.
- 2 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A PA is required to join a leading provider of...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...