TOPOLOW, June 7 — 11 people were killed as an aircraft carrying members from a parachute club crashed in southern Poland on Saturday.
The Piper PA-31 Navajo took off from Rudniki Airport in southern Poland. Shortly after takeoff, the plane emitted strange sounds that might be related to engine failure.
“It was flying very low, close to houses. It tilted to one side on its wing and caught fire,” said witness Barbara Minczykiewicz, who lived near the crash site in Topolow village, in an interview with Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.
Several passengers attempted to jump out of the plane before it crashed and burst into flames in an orchard. However, only one person survived the crash. Villagers found two bodies outside the wrecked plane.
“The worst thing was that one person tried to get out of it (the plane) but slid back inside. We tried to help them, but there was nothing we could do: everything was on fire, even the ground,” resident Robert Koziol told Gazeta Wyborcza.
Quoting anonymous sources, the PAP news agency reported that overloading might be the main cause behind the accident. However, the heat could take part of the blame as it could have contributed to overheated engines.
The crash killed 11 people, including the pilot. The only survivor was in serious condition. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the cause of the plane crash, including plane malfunction, human error and inappropriate organisation of the skydiving flight. — Reuters