England

Blackbushe Airport: Four dead in car auction site plane crash

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Media captionThe "devastating" scene after the jet plane crash near Blackbushe Airport was captured on film

Four people have died in a plane crash at a car auction site in Hampshire.

The Saudi-registered private jet - which was arriving from Italy - crashed during an attempt to land at Blackbushe Airport in Yateley.

Its pilot and all three passengers were killed but no-one on the ground was injured, Hampshire Constabulary said.

An eyewitness said the Phenom 300 jet exploded on impact at the British Car Auctions site, which is based at the airfield.

In a statement, Blackbushe Airport said the jet crashed near the end of the runway while attempting to make a landing.

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation tweeted it was a Saudi-registered private aircraft and that it would support the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in its investigation.

A spokeswoman for Milan Malpensa Airport confirmed the plane had left at 13:30 BST on its way to Hampshire.

Image copyright @NathanGFilm
Image caption Police, fire and ambulance crews were at the scene

'Ball of flames'

Andrew Thomas, who was paying for a car at the time, saw the plane catch fire on impact.

"I saw it when it had just happened, and could see the plane and cars in flames," he said.

"The plane nosedived into the cars and exploded on impact."

British Car Auctions, based in Farnham, Surrey, operates an auction site and warehouse at the Hampshire airfield.

Barry Wright was at the warehouse when the crash happened. He said the plane "went up in a ball of flames in about 60 seconds".

Image copyright AirTeamImages.com
Image caption This Embraer Phenom 300 took off from Milan at 13:20 BST before crashing in Hampshire
Image copyright @arranbushnell
Image caption British Car Auctions, based in Farnham, Surrey, operates an auction site and warehouse at the Hampshire airfield

He added: "It sounded like a missile coming in - very loud, followed by several explosions."

He said everyone was evacuated from the area and people were shouting "get out".


What is a Phenom 300?

  • Light jet aircraft made by Brazilian manufacturer Embraer
  • Standard models of the plane can hold eight occupants, including those in the cockpit
  • Its wingspan is 15.91m (52ft 2ins), and length is 15.64m (51ft 4ins)
  • Can reach 453 knots on high-speed cruise mode
  • Can reach a maximum altitude of 45,000ft (13,716m)

Robert Belcher said he saw a "a big column of smoke" as he was passing the airport on his way home

He said: "I could see the plume of smoke waving from about five miles away and was hoping it was just a car fire rather than an aircraft accident.

"Apparently the aircraft was landing and just didn't stop.

"At the end of the runway there is a car park, because the airport is used for car auctions, and it has gone into there."

Image caption The crash happened on the border between Hampshire and Surrey

Hampshire police said officers were called to the scene at 15:09 BST.

The A30 was closed both ways between A327 Cricket Hill Lane and Blackbushes Road, but has since reopened.

However, the airport access road is closed from the A30 junction. Police have warned people to avoid the area.

Acting Ch Insp Olga Venner said Hampshire police were carrying out a joint investigation with the AAIB.

She urged people with pictures and videos to get in touch on 101.

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