One killed in fiery Baakens Valley plane crash

Emergency workers recovered the body of one person killed in an airplane crash on Monday afternoon.
Emergency workers recovered the body of one person killed in an airplane crash on Monday afternoon.
Image: Supplied

One person died in a fiery airplane crash in Port Elizabeth on Monday afternoon.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed that a body had been recovered by late afternoon.

"It has been confirmed that only one person was in the aircraft. An inquest docket will be opened," she said. 

"The wreckage will be taken to the air wing where the forensic investigation will be conducted."

The deceased’s identity has not yet been released.

Earlier, eyewitnesses told HeraldLIVE how they saw the plane flying low before it crashed into the cliffs along the Baakens Valley.

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.

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.

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