Dutch plane crashes in South Africa; 1 killed, 3 Dutch hurt
A historical Martinair plane crashed in South Africa on Tuesday afternoon. One person was killed and around 20 were injured, according to local media. Three Dutch are among the injured. They work for Lelystad aviation museum Aviodrome, who the plane belongs to, according to newspaper AD.
The plane, a Convair 340 from 1954, took off from the Wonderboom airport in Pretoria around 4:30 p.m., almost immediately releasing clouds of smoke. The plane crashed a short time later. It hit a dairy farm, local residents say on Facebook.
Employees of Buffalo Bull Beverages, a company close to the crash site, were the first on the scene, Marja van Wyk of Buffalo Bull Beverages said to NL Times. "Our employees were on their way home and were a few meters away from the scene. They called my husband to come help." They helped passengers off the plane while emergency services responded. Multiple ambulance services responded to the scene, including at least two helicopter ambulances.
The pilot got trapped in the plane and sustained critical injuries, Jurgen Kotze, a spokesperson for one of the ambulance services, said to News24. The other passengers' injuries range from minor to moderate, he said.
The plane was set to fly to the Netherlands on Thursday. The three Aviodrome employees were in South Africa to arrange the flight. They are doing well under the circumstances, a spokesperson for the museum said to AD. "We've had contact with the three Aviodrome employees who were on board. Fortunately they sustained only minor injuries. To be sure, they were taken to hospital for examination." Aviodrome's general manager is flying to Pretoria on Wednesday to support the employees.
According to AD, the plane belonged to South African company Rovos Air until recently. Last month the company decided to donate the historical plane to Aviodrome. It was recently painted in the Martinair colors. Both Martinair and KLM flew with Convair 340s in the 50s and 60s. This type of aircraft was involved in 12 other plane crashes in the past, costing over a hundred lives in total.