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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019

Plane remains at crash site as investigation into deaths of man and boy (7) continues

An eyewitness said he saw the plane plunging “vertically down” into the bog.

Emergency Services at the scene of the crash of a light aircraft near Clonbollogue yesterday.
Emergency Services at the scene of the crash of a light aircraft near Clonbollogue yesterday.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/

Updated at 3.23pm 

AN EYEWITNESS WHO was out walking near the scene of yesterday afternoon’s light aircraft crash in Co Offaly has said he saw the craft plunging “vertically down” from the air before striking the bog below.

The remains of a man and a seven-year-old boy were recovered from the scene yesterday evening and taken to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore. Post-mortems are due to take place there later today.

Investigations are continuing at the scene, near Edenderry, this morning.

Local man Jim Slattery, who spoke to RTÉ News, said he was out walking his dog yesterday when he saw the plane come “roaring” into the bog.

The flight was carrying 16 parachutists from the Irish Parachute Club and took off from Clonbullogue Airfield, around 12km south of Edenderry, at 2.35pm yesterday.

The alert was raised after the parachute club lost radio contact with the pilot.

Gardaí said that all 16 parachutists made the jump from the plane and that witnesses saw the craft crash soon afterwards.

The wreckage was later located about two kilometres from the airfield.

“The Irish Parachute Club can confirm that the incident on Sunday 13th May involving an aircraft operating on behalf of the Irish Parachute Club has resulted in the deaths of both occupants,” a statement on the home page of the club’s website said.

“We ask for privacy for the families of the deceased who remain in our thoughts and prayers.”

It’s understood that the pilot was a UK national and that the young boy who was killed in the crash was the son of one of the parachute jumpers.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit is continuing its work at the scene this morning. The plane remains at the crash site and is expected to be removed at some point later today.

The Irish Parachute Club was founded in 1956 and has been based at Clonbullogue Airfield, which it owns and operates, for the last 30 years.

According to its website a number of hangars and other buildings have been added to the site in recent years. Six aircraft are based at the field.

In excess of 12,000 jumps are made annually at the club.

- With reporting from Paul Hosford in Co Offaly 

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Daragh Brophy

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