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13 March, 2020

Lockhart River Mayor speaks out after plane crash

Four QBuild workers and the 39-year-old pilot died when their twin-engine Cessna 404 Titan crashed into sand dunes, about 800 kilometres north of Cairns.

By Phil Brandel

Five Cairns men died in a plane crash near Lockhart River on Queensland's Cape York on Wednesday.

Four QBuild workers and the 39-year-old pilot died when their twin-engine Cessna 404 Titan crashed into sand dunes, about 800 kilometres north of Cairns.

The men had been flown into the area to carry out repair work on the local school.

But a tropical low in the Coral Sea has been buffeting the area with strong winds and heavy rain.

Police have confirmed the plane made two attempts to land before crashing.

Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher released a statement on Friday afternoon on behalf of his community.

“Our Lockhart River community is saddened and shocked by the recent tragic plane crash on our beachfront.

It has brought back memories of another plane crash 15 years ago.

Words right now cannot describe our feelings and thoughts for them and their families.

The workers in this tragedy committed their profession, time and commitment to assist and support the development of our Community.

They leave a gap in our Community’s progress which will be challenging to fill.

As I knew them, personally and professionally over time, we had built the trust we needed to succeed in our endeavours through a practical partnership between us.

I have worked with many Government and private sector visitors over the years and these people always displayed a genuine commitment to what we were doing with their warm handshakes and smiled greetings.

The people of Lockhart River send their condolences, prayers and thoughts to their families and friends in these saddest of days, our community mourns with you and may our ‘Respect’ also be with you.”

Cape York police Inspector Mark Henderson it was a "catastrophic scene" and the crash site could only be accessed via water.

Police and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) are currently investigating the crash.

 

 

 

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