Police look for cause of Qld plane crash

Pilot Les Woodall remains in critical condition
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12 January, 2017

A 29-year-old British backpacker has died and another was left critically injured after a plane carrying tourists crashed into a remote beach in Australia.

The woman, in her 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene while three others were seriously injured in the horrific crash on Middle Island on Tuesday morning.

She has since been identified and the Department of Foreign Affairs said it is providing consular assistance.

The pilot of the single-engine plane, Les Woodall, has head injuries, a broken leg, and suspected chest and abdominal injuries.

Both have been taken to the Rockhampton hospital.

It is understood that the 13 year old boy's family watched on in horror as they were in the second craft.

After seeing the wreckage on the beach Mr Rhoades said he broadcasted a mayday call to alert emergency services and landed his plane 100m from the crash.

Paramedics confirmed four patients are being treated, with two rescue helicopters deployed from Bundaberg.

"You've got to take your hats off to people who get in initially and do first aid and do a pretty good job, considering you may have to do CPR on someone until help arrives", he said.

The wreck of the plane after the fatal crash
Police look for cause of Qld plane crash

She said police would work closely with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to investigate the incident.

"Because of the location and communications it's hard to ascertain who the deceased was".

The crashed aircraft is believed to have been flying alongside another plane from the 1770 Castaway tour company when it came down at around 11am on Tuesday, the ABC reported. "We're still getting an ID on that", Acting Inspector Healy said. The area where the plane was found is only accessible by boat or aircraft.

The pilot, a man in his 60s, suffered a fractured spine, and was taken to Bundaberg Hospital, but is expected to be flown to Brisbane for surgery later this week.

The group was travelling on a day trip from the town of 1770, and their plane was seen having some difficulty.

1770 Castaways' website says it offers adventure camping holidays that involved flying to isolated island beaches.

9 News reports that passengers on a second tourist plane witnessed the downed aircraft crash into the beach.

"1770 Castaway is offering all the investigators its full co-operation".

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