Plane lands on crowded beach, kills sunbathers

In Lisbon, Portugal, a small plane made an emergency landing on a crowded beach Wednesday afternoon, killing an older man and a young girl who were sunbathing, officials said.

There were hundreds of beach-goers enjoying the day on the popular beach at Caparica, 20 miles south of Lisbon. Witnesses said when people saw the plane descending, they ran into the ocean to avoid it.

The National Maritime Authority confirmed a 56-year-old man and 8-year-old girl died on the beach. There were no other reports of injuries. Officials said the accident occurred at 4:50 p.m.

The Cessna plane carrying two passengers appeared to be in difficulty and trembled as it skimmed low over the sunbathers. Allegedly, the left wing was broken causing it to hang lower than the right, throwing the aircraft off balance.

The female victim was with her parents at the time of the accident, though they were unhurt, witnesses told reporters. The plane passed over the male victim’s legs as he sunbathed on a towel, they stated.

The two occupants of the plane are in stable condition and are being questioned by police.

FACT ABOUT DEATHS FROM PLANE CRASHES

Despite there being several high-profile plane crashes last year, 2016 was actually one of the safest periods for air travel.

Over the course of the year, there were seven fatal aircraft incidents, which resulted in 271 deaths – a  number which is down on previous years.

International aviation firm To70 reports that fatal accidents occurred in just 0.18 per million flights, which equates to around one in every five million flights.

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