Beds, Herts & Bucks

Air crash: Four die as plane and helicopter collide

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWaddesdon helicopter crash: Aerial shots show crash scene

Four people have died after a plane and a helicopter crashed in mid-air over Buckinghamshire.

Two people were killed in each aircraft, Thames Valley Police said.

Police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said they have launched a joint investigation to establish the cause of the collision just after midday at Waddesdon Estate, near Aylesbury.

A Wycombe Air Park spokesman said both aircraft came from the airfield.

Supt Rebecca Mears, from Thames Valley Police, said she could not give any details of the identity or the genders of the victims at this stage and her "first priority" was the next of kin.

She said it was "too early to tell" what might have caused the crash.

The AAIB said the plane involved was a Cessna.

Emergency services were called to Upper Winchendon, close to Waddesdon Manor, at 12:06 GMT.

A map of where the incident happened
Image caption Emergency services were called at 12:06 GMT

Mitch Missen, an off-duty firefighter, witnessed the crash from his garden.

He said: "I looked up and saw as both collided in mid-air, followed by a large bang and falling debris.

"I rushed in to get my car keys and en route called the emergency services, who I continued to give updates as to its whereabouts.

"Unfortunately, I wasn't able to locate the actual crash site but directed police, fire and ambulance as best I could. Once they were on the scene, I returned home."

Andy Parry, a teacher in Aylesbury, said he was with students at Waddesdon Manor at the time of the crash.

He said they heard a "massive bang" and saw debris in the sky.

The police cordon Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Roads in the area were closed off for a number of hours

There were a number of road closures following the crash but they have since been lifted.

Seven fire vehicles from Aylesbury, Haddenham, Oxfordshire and Berkshire were sent to the scene.

A spokesman for Bucks Fire and Rescue Service said 30 members of staff in fire engines and urban search and rescue vehicles attended.

He added: "I understand it is in a wooded area near the manor."

The Thames Valley air ambulance, two ambulance crews, two ambulance officers and a rapid response vehicle were also sent to the scene.

Waddesdon Manor Image copyright PA
Image caption The crash happened close to Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury

Hayley O'Keefe, from The Bucks Herald, said on Twitter a "plume of smoke" could be seen close to Waddesdon Hill after the crash.

The Rev Mary Cruddas from St Mary Magdalene Church, Upper Winchendon, said she had been to the site to see if she could be of any help.

She said: "The area where it happened is off road and difficult to get to."

presentational grey line

BBC News Online reporter Phil Shepka at the scene

When I got to the scene it was frantic, as media across all outlets, local and national, assembled.

You cannot see the crash site as the woodland is so dense but as the light dimmed, you could see light coming from where the AAIB and police were standing.

The police presence has been very visible throughout the day, with a large cordon in place and roads closed.

A spokesperson for the National Trust-owned Waddesdon Manor said the crash had not happened in its grounds, but staff helped direct the emergency services to the scene.

Wycombe Air Park, also known as Booker Airfield, is about 20 miles (32km) away from the site of the crash and offers flight training.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The crash site is in dense woodland

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites