Australia: two adults, two children die in light plane crash

Two adults and two children have died after a light plane crashed off the coast of the Australian city of Brisbane, police said on Sunday.

Queensland State Police said the four were killed when the small plane crashed in shallow water near Redcliffe, a bay suburb in the city’s north, just after 9:00 a.m. local time.

The bodies of the 69-year-old pilot and three passengers – an adult male and two children – were later recovered by police divers. The passengers have not yet been identified, AFP reported.

Police Inspector Craig White described it as a “tragic accident” in the run-up to Christmas.

“It’s the last thing a family has to go through at this time of year,” he said.

Local media images showed the four-seater plane upside down in the water.

Initial reports said it crashed shortly after takeoff, authorities said, but a full investigation had been ordered to determine the cause.

The Air Transport Safety Board said additional investigators would be dispatched from the nation’s capital Canberra to help with the investigation.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll earlier told local media the initial response met with difficult conditions.

“The plane is in a very, very difficult situation, (a) a difficult position in the wetland,” she said.

Authorities said it could take some time to recover the wreckage from the crash site.