Two dead in parachute light aircraft crash

Emergency services at the scene of the crash of a light aircraft near Clonbullogue Co Offaly on Sunday

The death of a 7 year old boy and a pilot in a plane crash is being described as a dark day for Offaly.

All 16 parachutists onboard successfully made their exit from the plane but eyewitnesses on the ground saw the plane go down.

All 16 made their jump from the craft prior to any accidents happening, however witnesses then stated that they saw the aircraft crash shortly afterwards.

Bodies were recovered from the wreckage last night and taken for post-mortem examinations to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore.

Mr Slattery had mistakenly believed it was a stunt and said he expected the plane to pull up but that never happened. And when it hit the tree line, the tail moved and I knew there was something wrong.

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.

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"Then I heard a bad roaring and it went straight down like a torpedo", he said.

"However, I knew the plane was in the wrong area". The site of the crash is located between Daingean and Edenderry, not far from Mount Lucas.

On Monday morning, two engineers and a pilot from the Air Accident Investigation Unit will continue their inquiry into the events that led to the tragedy.

Local resident Declan Burns (49) said he understood the plane had just dropped off the parachutists and was heading back to the airfield when something went terribly wrong and the plane "just nose-dived".

Edenderry-based independent Councillor Noel Cribbin told the Irish Times that the whole community is in a state of shock at news of the accident.

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