PRETORIA (AFP) -Nineteen people were injured when a vintage plane crashed on Tuesday (July 10) after it took off on a test flight from a small airport in the South African capital Pretoria, emergency services said.
The Convair plane – built in 1954 – was due to soon be flown to the Aviodrome air museum, near the central Dutch city of Lelystad, after reportedly being renovated at the small Wonderboom airport in Pretoria.
Images from the site showed the plane broken into several pieces as paramedics helped survivors out of the aircraft and treated patients at the scene as firefighters tackled the smoking wreckage.
“Medics from ER24 and other services are at the scene of a plane crash at Wonderboom in Pretoria,” Russell Meiring, spokesman for the ER24 medical service, said.
“We have 19 injured casualties ranging from minor to critical injuries at this stage and no confirmed fatalities.”
The Aviodrome aerospace theme park in the Netherlands said on its Facebook page that it was “hugely shocked” by the crash.
The plane, which had been expected at the Aviodrome, “crashed in South Africa during take-off on a test flight,” it said.
It said the Convair was a US-built passenger plane that could carry 44 people.
It had been due to fly to Aviodrome via east Africa, through Egypt, Croatia, Austria to the Netherlands.
The plane was marked Martin’s Air Charter, but no information was immediately available about the air company.
Jurgen Kotze, chief operating officer for Emer-G-Med services, said the crash was near Wonderboom airport on the Moloto Road.
“They are busy treating one of the pilots... and he will be airlifted to a Netcare hospital,” he said.
“Some patients have been transferred already and some of them are still on scene.”
South African Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Kabelo Ledwaba said its investigators were at the scene and would issue a statement.