Mystery surrounds the cause of an air crash that killed a young boy and the pilot during a parachuting event.
Air Accident Investigators and emergency services continued their efforts to dig out the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft from bogland near Clonbullogue, Co Offaly.
The aircraft plummeted to the ground just moments after 16 parachutists leapt above the Irish Parachute Club aerodrome on Sunday afternoon.
It fell to the ground with no radio contact and the seven-year-old boy, named locally as, Kacper Kacprzak, who lived in Blanchardstown, was killed along with the British pilot.
Kacper was from a Polish background and his father Krysztof was a member of the club – moments before the crash he had jumped from the aircraft. He was not aware of any issue.
Members of the Parachute Club refused to comment when contacted by the Irish Mirror – a number of people stated they were told not to speak about the crash. The club had shut down its website and Facebook pages.
One source said: “Everyone is just totally shocked by the crash – Kacper was a lovely little lad and would be at the club on a regular basis. He would wear a flying suit – he loved planes.
“His dad is well known as Kris and is heavily involved in parachuting. He had just jumped and his son was along as a passenger with the pilot.
“The family live in Blanchardstown in Dublin and are in a deeply distressed state.”
Sources have said that the aircraft is buried deeply into the ground and the emergency services were having difficulty extracting it from the bogland.
The Irish Parachute Club released a statement and said: “The board of directors, members and friends of the Irish Parachute Club are deeply saddened at the death of the occupants of the aircraft that was operating on behalf of the club.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected – we would like to thank the Air Accident Investigation Unit and the Emergency Services who are continuing their investigation at this very difficult time.”
Local resident Cllr Liam Quinn, the chairman of Offaly County Council, spoke at the scene and said that the local area was devastated at the tragedy.
He said: “It is a very black day for County Offaly – when we got the news we didn’t realise how bad it was. The loss of the life of a young boy is particularly tragic.
“It is extremely sad and there is a primary school with out a student this morning which is going to be particularly sad for the students there.”
The aircraft has a long history and had been registered as N208AY. It was built in 2005 and had been operated by Aeroland Airways in Greece until 2008.
It was registered in 2017 and had been flying with Sky Dive South Coast from Old Sarum Aerodrome near the city of Salisbury.
A statement from the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit said: “The AAIU deployed 3 Inspectors of Air Accidents on being notified of the accident on 13 May 2018.
“The AAIU team returned to the accident site this morning at 08.00 hrs to complete a site survey and co-ordinate removal of the aircraft wreckage.
The aircraft wreckage will be brought to the AAIU facility at Gormanston Military Camp for further technical examination later today.”
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