A Co Down community is in shock after two people were killed in a light aircraft crash, a local representative has said.

Police remain at Newtownards Airport following confirmation of the deaths.

Alliance Party councillor Vicky Moore lives near the airport and visited the scene following the crash yesterday evening.

She said: "It is a huge shock to the community and obviously all our thoughts are with the families of those who have been affected and particularly those that have died in the accident.

"The airport here in Newtownards is part of the community.

"It has been a fixture in the town for a very, very long time.

"Local people are used to the activity at the airport and this will be a terrible shock to them."

She added: "I live under the flight path, probably about 10-15 minutes' walk away.

"I was at the scene last night. Police were preventing anyone from getting access to the airport but you could see that a number of emergency vehicles were there.

"This is a very rare occurrence bearing in mind the amount of activity there is at the airport.

"It is mostly flying schools who use it. Pleasure flying, small, independent and private aircraft use it.

"The airfield is so popular, it is not expected that something like this would happen."

Emergency services were called to the scene yesterday evening.

A PSNI spokesman said: "It was reported to police at 8.20pm that a light aircraft had crashed at the airport.

The scene at Newtownards Airport was sealed off

"Officers and other emergency services attended the scene.

"Sadly, two people were pronounced dead."

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) attended and said no patients were taken from the scene on the Portaferry Road in the town.

"NIAS despatched two emergency crews, a doctor and an ambulance officer to the incident," it said.

"No patients were taken from the scene."

Additional reporting Vincent Kearney