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02 August 2017

Two killed in Portugal beach plane crash

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Media captionThe light plane landed on the sand

A man and a child have been killed after a light aircraft made an emergency landing on a beach in Portugal.

Authorities said the incident took place on Sao Joao beach in Caparica, south-west of Lisbon.

The National Maritime Authority said a middle-aged man and a young girl died after they were unable to avoid the plane.

The plane’s only two occupants were unharmed, it added.

The Diario de Noticias newspaper quoted an eyewitness who said the plane had been flying at a low altitude over the beach, although he did not realise anything was wrong until other beachgoers began running.

One young witness told Reuters news agency: “I was near the water when I saw the plane. I called my parents, the plane fell on the sand and ran over two people, fatally hurting them and another was injured, I think, but I’m not sure, people were running away.

“The plane is still there, but the ambulances arrived quickly. I think maybe the fuel ran out because I find it weird that it landed on the beach.”

Other reports said the victims had been sunbathing when the plane made its emergency landing.

The Associated Press news agency said the girl who died had been with her parents, who were unhurt. The agency quoted witnesses from local television broadcasts.

Joao Quadros, who was on the beach, tweeted photos of the aftermath, saying the plane had passed by his son by a matter of metres. There had been no noise, he said.

Video footage from the scene carried by local broadcasters showed a small recreational plane parked on the sand, apparently intact and surrounded by beachgoers and emergency workers. One wing seemed to be misaligned in those photos.

The cause of the emergency landing remains unclear.

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