At least 10 civilian parachutists were killed alongside a pilot today when their light plane crashed into a field in Belgium.
Four of those on board the stricken Pilatus PC-6 Porter had been seen desperately trying to get out after the aircraft caught fire and a wing dropped off.
But they were unable to open their chutes before the plane crashed into the ground near the town of Marchovelette, in the southern Namur region.
The horrific accident took place at around 3.45pm after the aircraft had taken off from Temploux airfield, some 45 miles south east of Brussels, and hit the ground some ten minutes later.
Jean-Claude Nihoul, the mayor of nearby Fernelmont, said there were ‘at least 10 passengers on board and probably one pilot’.
Mr Nihoul said most of those on board had been due to take part in a parachute jump but ‘crashed around 10 minutes after take-off.’
One eyewitness told Belgium radio station RTL he saw ‘a plane lose its wing mid-flight and crash with a massive bang. I didn’t see anyone parachute out.’
There were no survivors in the crash, which saw the plane burnt to a wreck…