Passenger plane crash kills four

Illustration: The famous Hienghene hen, on the east coast of New Caledonia. AUDET VINCENT / SIPA

The toll is heavy. Four people died in a plane crash overnight Friday to Saturday on Lifou Island, New Caledonia, said the government of New Caledonia. The small aircraft, of the Mooney M20F type, which had just taken off from Wanaham-Lifou aerodrome, crashed a few meters from a house where a family lived.

The four victims have been identified. Three of them were civil aviation agents, the government of New Caledonia said in a statement released on Saturday.

An engine problem?

The circumstances of this accident have not been established. A team from the Office of Investigation and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety is scheduled to arrive in New Caledonia on Monday.

At the scene of the accident, the first observations were made by the investigators of the air transport brigade from La Tontouta airport (National Gendarmerie). Residents of Lifou residing in the area of ​​Wanaham airfield and quoted by the New Caledonia TV channel 1st say they heard “a strange noise, like an engine problem” before the aircraft crashed.

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