Four killed in tourist plane crash in Hamburg

3rd July 2006, Comments 0 comments

3 July 2006, HAMBURG - A boy on a sightseeing trip with his father to celebrate his 12th birthday was among four killed when their tourist float-plane crash-landed Sunday in the German port-city of Hamburg.

3 July 2006

HAMBURG - A boy on a sightseeing trip with his father to celebrate his 12th birthday was among four killed when their tourist float-plane crash-landed Sunday in the German port-city of Hamburg.

Police said the pilot of the veteran de Havilland Beaver DHC-2 plane had attempted an emergency landing in a railway goods yard after the engine failed. But the plane collided with a goods wagon and burst into flame.

The pilot and the boy's father scrambled clear and were taken to hospital with critical burns, but the other four injured passengers were burned to death.

The 44-year-old Canadian-built seaplane seats up to seven passengers. Taking off from the harbour water, it had been used by thousands of tourists from round the world to view Germany's biggest seaport during 20-minute joyrides at a 600-metre altitude.

"The sad thing was that the ride was a birthday present to the 12- year-old from his parents," said fire brigade spokesman Martin Schneider. Psychologists were counselling the mother, who had opted out of the ride and was waiting back at the waterside landing stage.

Police fire investigator Klaus Gneckow said the plane had been gliding just above the ground when a wingtip caught on rolling stock. There had been nothing inflammable in the freight cars, which were on a siding in a big rail-yard that serves the seaport.

The pilot, who was only able to speak a few sentences to rescuers, was apparently too far from water to land with floats when the engine failed, 2 minutes into the flight.

DPA

Subject: German news

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