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JUST IN | Plane crashes into Baakens Valley cliffs

A plane crashed into the cliffs along Baakens Valley on Monday afternoon.
A plane crashed into the cliffs along Baakens Valley on Monday afternoon.
Image: Werner Hills

Nelson Mandela Bay emergency officials are on the scene of a light airplane crash in the Baakens Valley.

According to eyewitnesses, the plane crashed at about 2.15pm on Monday.

Emergency Medical Services head in the Bay, Brenhan Metune, confirmed the incident, but said it was difficult to access the crash site.

“We are awaiting a situation report,” he said.

Bay businessman Motse Mfuleni said he was sitting in the park overlooking the Baakens Valley when he noticed the plane.

“I’m busy sitting in my car, eating my lunch and just admiring the valley when I saw this aircraft flying really low. It was flying on its side and I could see the wheels and after a minute of it flying like that I heard a loud bang,” Mfuleni said.

He added he wished it was not one of the students from the flight school as that would be “tragic”.

A woman who lives in a block of flats near the crash site described how she saw the aircraft flying low before crashing into cliffs along the Baakens Valley.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the plane crashed at about 2.15pm.

“A light aircraft came from the sea side low into the valley, even lower into the valley where the cliff is, and shortly thereafter we heard an explosion and then saw the flames,” the woman said.

Another resident, on the Park Drive side of Baakens Valley, said: “I saw a large white shape pass my window out of the corner of my eye and then heard the crash.

“It glided past without making a sound.”

The South African Civil Aviation Authority’s Kabelo Ledwaba said the accident happened soon after take-off from the Port Elizabeth airport.

“We have no further information at this point other  than the fact that the aircraft was consumed by a post-impact fire. The status of the occupant(s) is/are unknown thus far,” he said.

“The completion of an investigation is marked by the release of a final accident report, which would contain the probable cause and safety recommendations aimed at improving the levels of safety and preventing a similar accident,” Ledwaba said.

This is a developing story.