Eilat plane crash kills one, seriously injures two
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Eilat plane crash kills one, seriously injures two

Light craft flips over on its descent; passengers trapped until rescue crews extract them

Lazar Berman is a former breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Emergency personnel surround a plane that crashed in the southern city of Eilat, Thursday, August 1, 2013 (photo credit: Channel 2)
Emergency personnel surround a plane that crashed in the southern city of Eilat, Thursday, August 1, 2013 (photo credit: Channel 2)

A light plane crashed near Eilat’s airport Thursday afternoon, killing a 67-year-old man and leaving two seriously wounded.

The plane took off from Herzliya around 5 pm. It remains unclear what exactly caused the plane to flip over and end up upside down in a ditch when it tried landing. Human error and strong winds have not been ruled out.

The pilot and his two passengers were trapped in the plane until rescue crews arrived to extract them.

The deceased, Yigal Britman, was a leading Israeli accountant.

Channel 2 reported that the two survivors were being treated at Yoseftal Medical Center in Eilat, but Magen David Adom later flew them to Soroka Hospital because of the severity of their injuries.

The crash followed two incidents in July in which emergency crews were summoned in response to malfunctions aboard incoming passenger jets. A Greek plane flying from Crete to Israel issued a mayday call to Ben Gurion Airport, but it landed safely, leaving all 170 passengers and crew unscathed. Two weeks later, an El Al flight from Milan to Tel Aviv reported an engine malfunction, but the pilots managed to land without further incident.

In June, a state of emergency was briefly declared Saturday at Ben Gurion Airport after a malfunction was discovered in the wheels of an ultralight aircraft which was preparing to land. That plane, too, carrying two passengers, managed to land safely at the airport despite the malfunction.

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