UK
19/10/2013 15:12 BST | Updated 19/10/2013 15:14 BST

Ten Parachutists Killed In Belgium Plane Crash

AFP

Ten parachutists and a pilot have died after the plane they were in crashed shortly after taking off in central Belgium, according to Sky News.

The aircraft came down in a field shortly after taking off from Temploux aerodrome, near Namur.

The plane crashed between the small villages of Marchovlette and Fernelmont and burst into flames just before 4pm local time (3pm BST) on Saturday.

It is believed that one of the wings fell off.

One witness told Belgium's Sud Presse newspaper: "The plane flew over my house and I saw pieces fall from the plane.

"Then the plane pitched, and nose dived, crashing about 200 yards away."

Jean-Claude Nihoul, Mayor of Fernelmont, told Sud Presse: "Three parachutes open ground show that three people tried to jump," adding that "it is a tragedy that we had never known in the region."

"I've just seen a twin-engined plane lose it's wing mid-flight and crash with a massive bang," another eyewitness told Belgian broadcaster RTL.

"I didn't see anyone parachute out."

Elio di Rupo, the Belgian prime minister, sent his condolences to the victims.

"Plane crash near Namur: my thoughts are with all the victims, their families and their loved ones," he said.