Pilots die as Cypriot plane crashes into house

 

The two pilots of a Cypriot army plane died when it crashed into a house today.

The single-engine PC-9 clipped the bell tower of a packed church and narrowly missing a 13th century Crusaders' castle, police said.

There was no-one in the at the time of the crash, authorities said.

Witnesses said the plane plunged into the garage of a British-owned home in Kolossi, a community lying some 3 miles east of the British air force base of Akrotiri. Kolossi is a community of some 2,000 Britons, Germans and Cypriots.

The aircraft had circled over Kolossi three times in obvious difficulty and clipped the bell tower of a church holding a memorial service before crashing, witnesses said.

"People were scared stiff," a German resident said. "We saw it circling over Kolossi and it hit the bell tower of the church with its wing before losing more height and crashing."