THREE Australian tourists and a German pilot were fighting for their lives after their Cessna plane crashed near Victoria Falls Airport yesterday afternoon.
Officer commanding Victoria Falls police Jairos Chiwona confirmed the accident.
“I can confirm that we received a report about an airplane accident, which happened this afternoon near Lupinyu business centre,” he said.
“We cannot not reveal the names of the injured because their next of kin have not been notified. The three were ferried to hospital in a critical condition especially the pilot.”
Sources said the plane was heading to Hwange National Parks to pick more tourists before flying to Mana Pools.
“The crash happened a few minutes after take-off from the airport. The pilot communicated that he was turning back soon after the take-off because the plane was having engine problems,” the source said.
When Southern Eye visited the scene, police had already blocked the road to Lupinyu.
One of the eyewitnesses, Portia Shoko, said they saw the plane immediately before it crashed.
“We saw it passing, but it immediately turned back and was now moving at a very low speed and we suspected something was not right,” she said.
“We then heard a loud sound near our fields and we ran towards the scene. We saw the plane hitting trees before it crashed. We then attended the scene and rescued the victims.
“All of them seemed to have sustained broken body parts, but the pilot was severely injured and bleeding profusely. He also had serious head injuries.”
The six-seater plane is owned by a safari lodge and was used to fly tourists around the country.