Pilot and boy (7) killed in Offaly plane crash named locally

Gardaí said an aircraft took off from Clonbullogue airfield with 16 parachutists on board all of whom made their jump from the craft. File

Gardaí said an aircraft took off from Clonbullogue airfield with 16 parachutists on board all of whom made their jump from the craft. File

Under the rubble after the collapse was discovered the pilot and seven-year-old child is in critical condition, was hospitalized and later died in hospital.

The plane came down between Daingean and Edenderry after taking off from the Irish Parachute Club in Clonbullogue this afternoon.

A Garda spokesman said there were 16 parachutists on board.

It's understood the young boy's father was one of the parachute jumpers - while the pilot was an experienced flyer from the UK.

The remains of both of the deceased were brought to Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, Offaly pending post-mortem examinations for both the pilot and boy.

The light aircraft crashed "straight down like a torpedo" into bogland in Co Offaly.

The crashed plane had been partially submerged in water and was embedded in the ground after crashing at speed, leading to an exhaustive recovery mission. I thought he was doing a stunt and was waiting for him to pull out.

"And when it hit the tree line the tail moved and I knew there was something wrong", he said.

"I heard a awful roaring and it went straight down like a torpedo", Jimmy Slattery said.

Gardaí said last night that they would not be releasing the names of the victims until they were satisfied that all family members had been informed.

"However, I knew the plane was in the wrong area".

"That roar will live with me for a while", he added.

The crash happened a few kilometres away in bog land near Edenderry.

He said the pilot had been hired by the Irish Parachute Club since their own plane was being serviced.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit examined the scene yesterday.

"It's a great shock to hear of an accident like that happening".

"These flights have been happening for the last 20 years and this is the first time I've heard of a plane going down".

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