Five die after tourist plane, microlight collide in west France

French gendarmes and firemen work near the crash site in Loches, France, on Oct 10, 2020.
French gendarmes and firemen work near the crash site in Loches, France, on Oct 10, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

RENNES, FRANCE (AFP) - Five people were killed after a tourist plane and a microlight aircraft collided in western France on Saturday (Oct 10), the local government said.

The small microlight carrying two people collided with a DA40 tourist plane with three people onboard around 4.30pm (10.30pm Singapore time) in Loches in the Indre-et-Loire department, local government official Nadia Seghier told AFP.

"(The microlight) landed on the fence around a house without harming anyone else, (the DA40) several hundred metres away in an uninhabited area," Seghier said.

"All five people involved died."

"Air emergency staff from Lyon were brought in at first to track down the plane, which was quickly found," the prefecture said.

Gregoire Dulin, a prosecutor from nearby Tours, told AFP that there was "little reliable information" about who was involved.

"We may think that five people have died, but that's not totally certain, there are at least two for sure," Dulin said.

Around 50 firefighters were called out while 30 gendarmes set up road detours around the crash sites.

A witness told AFP that the crash zone was totally blockaded and locals had been told to stay in their homes.

The microlight had landed on a house's electrical meter and caught fire, the person said.

No details about the identities of the victims or the causes of the collision have so far been released.

Police in Loches have taken over the investigation into the crash.

Collisions between microlights and other aircraft are rare, although an August 2019 crash between a microlight and a helicopter over the Spanish island of Mallorca killed seven including two minors.