Australia Day plane crash: Two dead, fireworks cancelled

Two people are dead after a light plane crashed into the Swan River in Perth during Australia Day celebrations, breaking in half on impact and sinking.

Water Police have confirmed the plane, believed to be a seaplane, crashed into the water shortly after 5:00pm.

They said two people, the pilot and an occupant, died in the incident. They were the only people on board.

Crowds had gathered on the foreshore in the lead up to the traditional fireworks display, and many boats on the water also rushed to the plane in a desperate bid to rescue those inside.

Onlookers said the plane, believed to be a fixed-wing stunt plane, was following a water plane south along the river before it banked stalled and nosedived into the river, where it broke into two pieces.

Lloyd Douglas was on a nearby boat when the plane smashed into the water.

“As he banked left he seemed to go further to the left … and lose forward momentum and lost altitude fairly quickly,” Mr Douglas said.

Advertisement

“My concern was that he’d landed in amongst all the small boats up at the east end of the Perth water.

“I don’t think — looking through binoculars — that he did hit other boats.

“It did hit the water with a fairly decent force, and goodness if it had another boat in the water or something it would be a tragedy.”

He said there were people climbing over the wings of the plane, shortly after it crashed, trying to extract the people inside.

Mr Douglas said it took several minutes for people to reach plane, and it was nearby revellers who were first able to get to it.

Police boats and jet ski are currently on the scene. The condition of the pilot and passenger not yet known.

It is understood firefighters are heading to the crash and will prepare to board the stricken craft to extract people.

Featured image: Channel 10/Beau Pearson

This post originally appeared on ABC News.


© 2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here

FROM OUR NETWORK
JOIN THE CONVERSATION