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06.45 14 May 2018


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Updated 14:05

Efforts are underway to remove the wreckage of a plane following a crash in Offaly which has claimed the lives of a pilot and seven year old boy.

Eyewitnesses say the aircraft nose-dived like a torpedo crashing up to 15 feet into bogland just outside Edenderry.

Post-mortem examinations are being carried out while air accident investigators remain at the scene.

The Irish Parachute Club says it’s deeply saddened and its thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

Chairman of Offaly County Council Liam Quinn said it is a tragedy for everyone involved:

"The club is very well known locally here in Clonbullogue," he said. "They have been there for a long time." 

"A lot of the people that come are associated with doing things for charity - fundraising and things like that.

"But this is a very very sad day in Offaly and it will take a little while for people to get over the shock of this accident." 

The light aircraft had taken off from an airstrip at Clonbullogue before coming down and crashing into bogland near Edenderry yesterday afternoon.

It had been carrying 16 parachutists – all of whom made their jump before the plane got into difficulty.

Edenderry Councillor Martin O'Reilly said it is a terrible shock for everyone.

“There was a seven-year-old child involved in this incident so we are thinking of the families connected to this incident, the local school that this young boy would have gone to as well – he would have friends and teachers.

“All we can say - as fruitless as it is – to the family, we are thinking of them at this difficult time.”

The pilot is believed to be an experienced flyer from the UK and Councillor O'Reilly said the parachuting club is very highly regarded in the local area.

“The parachute club is quite popular,” he said.

“It is quite popular for fundraising; people go out for recreational activities as well with the planes.

“I would have been out there once or twice myself; it is run very well and very professionally.”

Reporting from Paul Quinn in Clonbullogue


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