REGIONAL; Three Dead As Plane Crashes Into House In Jamaica
(Caribbean 360) The heart-wrenching cries of grief echoed across several communities in Jamaica this morning even as investigators returned to the scene of yesterday’s deadly plane crash which claimed the lives of a flight instructor and his two teenage students.
Romone Forbes, 18; Dansheer Gilmoore, 19; and Jonathan Worton, 31, perished in the tragedy which sent shockwaves through the nation.
According to police reports, what started out as a regular flying lesson for Forbes and Gilmoore, with instructor Worton, went horribly wrong when the Cessna 172 plane owned by the Caribbean Aviation Training Centre developed mechanical problems soon after takeoff.
The Jamaica Fire Brigade said it received a distress call around 1:34 p.m., shortly before the small plane crashed into a house in the Greenwich Town area off Marcus Garvey Drive, in the southeastern parish of St Andrew.
Eyewitness Keith Clarke, who rushed to the scene to help, told the Jamaica Gleaner it was a terrifying experience.
“We start throw water; all sand we throw. I heard one of the men trying to talk, and den we start to wet him up and fight to get him out and put him on top of the plane,” he recalled.
Police reported that all three men sustained serious injuries and were rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital where Worton and Gilmore were pronounced dead on arrival. Forbes succumbed to his injuries around 10 p.m.
Families who ventured to the scene were in disbelief after seeing the mangled plane.
Opposition Leader Portia Simpson-Miller, who is MP for St Andrew South, was also on the scene.
“I can’t even tell you how I feel. I am overwhelmed by what has happened. It is sad,” she told journalists. “I would like to express to members of the family my condolences. It is not easy, and it must be hard for members of the family as it is for members of the community.”
Fire official Emilio Ebanks told the Jamaica Gleaner there were no reports of residents being injured.
“There were no injuries to any persons on the ground, so I think it is safe for us to assume that no one was in the house, based on where we see the plane has landed. If persons were in the house, there would have been injuries,” he said.
A team of investigators from the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, led by an investigator-in-charge to be appointed by Minister of Transport Lester Henry, is probing the incident.
“The investigation will gather information from all available sources to determine the cause of the crash. These will include, but are not limited to: the aircraft records, the pilot and student pilots’ records, eyewitness statements, air traffic control reports and accident scene evidence,” a statement from the Ministry of Transport said.