Seven people have been killed in a mid-air collision between a helicopter and an ultralight plane on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the government of the Balearic Islands said on Twitter. It said the two aircraft crashed over the central town of Inca at 1.35pm, Sunday, local time. The victims included two passengers on the plane, a couple with their two children and the helicopter pilot.
Local authorities on Sunday, local time, said the helicopter occupants could “possibly” have been German, while the plane passengers were Spanish, but there was no official confirmation. Local media said the couple and the two children killed in the accident were from Germany.
The helicopter pilot was reportedly Italian, while the two people on the light plane were described as a man from Valencia and his male friend, Spanish broadcaster RTVE reported. It was also not known what caused the accident.
“We are concerned and horrified by the accident,” Francina Armengol, the president of the Balearic Islands, wrote on Twitter “Our thoughts are with the victims.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also sent his condolences for the victims’ families. Local people rushed to the crash site after hearing a loud bang. Police and fire services were called to the scene, as the plane went up in flames, reports said.
Parts of the helicopter were strewn across an old country road, and the plane had crashed onto the grounds of a country estate, Sebastia Oriol, head of security for the municipality of Incam, told local broadcaster IB3.
The company that runs the helicopter tours for tourists, Rotorflug Helicopters, confirmed the crash.
“The cause of the accident is still completely unclear,” the company, which is based near Frankfurt in Germany, said in a press statement.
“The German Federal Aviation office [LBA] and the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation have already been informed by Rotorflug,” the statement continued.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the accident.