11 dead following plane crash in Poland

Saturday 05 July 2014 21.40
Polish media reports suggest the aircraft was carrying passengers in excess of its capacity
Polish media reports suggest the aircraft was carrying passengers in excess of its capacity

Eleven people have been killed and one person seriously injured after a plane crashed at a parachute club close to Czestochowa, in the south of Poland.

"Twelve people were on board the plane and the only survivor was taken to hospital and is in a serious condition," Justyna Sochacka, a spokeswoman for the emergency services, told AFP.

The plane, a Piper Navajo, reportedly had 11 parachutists and a pilot on board.

"It was flying from the south and the engine was making strange sounds," said eyewitness Barbara Minczykiewicz, a resident of the village of Topolow where the plane crashed, quoted by Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza broadsheet daily.

"It was flying very low, close to houses. It tilted to one side on its wing and caught fire," she said.

Village residents managed to pull one live person and two bodies out of the air craft, according to Ms Minczykiewicz.

The light plane took off from an air field in Rudniki, near Czestochowa.

The causes behind the crash were not immediately known, but Polish media reports suggested the aircraft was carrying passengers in excess of its capacity.