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Bodies of Blackstairs plane crash victims recovered from scene

The two men who died have been named as Bryan Keane (69) and Paul Smith (58) – both from Athboy in Co Meath.

rescue Members of South East Mountain Rescue on the scene last night. South East Mountain Rescue South East Mountain Rescue

Updated at 10.30am

THE TWO MEN killed in a light plane crash in the Blackstairs mountains yesterday were both experienced pilots, it’s emerged.

The men, who have been named locally as Bryan Keane (69) and Paul Smith (58) – both from Athboy in Meath – had taken off from Ballyboy Airfield, near their home, yesterday morning.

The wreckage of their plane was discovered by a hillwalker in an area on the Carlow-Wexford border at 2.40om yesterday afternoon.

Search and rescue services were immediately deployed to the remote area.

A Coast Guard helicopter, gardaí, the Air Accident Investigations Unit and local rescue teams were all at the scene last night.

heli A Coast Guard helicopter at the scene last night. South East Mountain Rescue South East Mountain Rescue

According to South East Mountain Rescue, the remains of the two men were recovered from the crash scene as darkness fell last night.

“The last of the mountain rescue members came off the mountain shortly after midnight in what was a very challenging and demanding incident extending over 10 hours,” the team said on Facebook.

“Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased following this sad event.”

hill2 The area where the plane went down. South East Mountain Rescue South East Mountain Rescue

A garda spokesperson confirmed this morning that the bodies of the two men had been taken to University Hospital Waterford, where post-mortem examinations will be carried out.

Air Accident Investigators – who operate as part of the Department of Transport – are examining the cause of the crash.

Conditions were said to be fine in the area yesterday afternoon.

First posted at 8am.

Read: After 16 closures, strict new measures to crack down on English language colleges 

Read: Murder investigation launched as body found at same location as abandoned baby Maria identified by gardaí

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