THREE people were killed yesterday when their light plane crashed at 12.15am on the outskirts of Sa Pobla some 30 minutes after taking off from Son Bonet airfield.
All of the victims were Spanish and they were flying as part of a group from Barcelona on an air excursion or rally of Majorca and Minorca.
When the Cessna-172 in which they were flying came down, the two men and a woman were heading for San Luis in Minorca, according to Spanish Airport Authority sources.
The aircraft crashed in to the Talapi farm which is two kilometres outside of Sa Pobla. 112 emergency service sources said that various teams of fire fighters from the Inca and Alcudia brigades rushed to the rural crash scene along with the Guardia Civil and 061 paramedics while Sa Pobla Local Police cordoned off the area and controlled traffic.
According to sources close to the investigation, the plane burst into flames on impact. Sadly, due to the severity of the injuries and burns, there was nothing the emergency services could have done to save the lives of the three occupants and they were declared dead at the scene of the air tragedy.
Civil Aviation crash investigators and forensics remained at the scene yesterday afternoon trying to ascertain what caused the crash.
The Cessna, registration EC-IRP, was apparently based at an airfield in Sabadell, Barcelona, and was due to have made one final stop in Minorca before heading for home, according to AENA Airport Authority sources.
Yesterday's fatalities takes the total number of lives lost in light plane accidents in Spain this year to 12 and the Sa Pobla crash was the sixth this year.
The tragedy is also the worst civil aviation accident to have happened in the Balearics in recent years.