Two people were killed Wednesday when a light plane made an emergency landing on a beach near Lisbon in Portugal.
“We can confirm that two people were hit by the plane and died there,” a spokesperson for Portugal’s national maritime authority told Lusa News Agency. “The victims are a man and a young girl.”
According to the Evening Standard, the crash took place on Sao Joao beach and involved an aircraft on a training flight with one student and a senior instructor. The senior pilot made a Mayday call before signaling he had to land because of engine failure.
Sao Joao is a popular tourist beach near Albufeira, a town along Portugal’s Algarve coast. The beach is approximately one mile long and backed by a series of rugged cliffs. It is also known as a base for day trips to Vilamoura, home to 1st century Roman ruins; Silves, home to a Moorish castle; and Loule, which has a daily market in an Arabian-style market hall.
“Any loss of life is to be regretted but given the fact that this plane came down on a beach with hundreds of people on it at the height of summer, we could have been looking at many deaths and many injuries,” Lisbon Port Police Chief Paulo Isabel told the Evening Standard.