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Racing Director and eyewitness, Captain Nick Lees
"We could see the smoke from the other side of the Grandstand"
 real 28k

The BBC's Kate Williams
"Eyewitnesses say the plane nose-dived"
 real 28k

Thursday, 1 June, 2000, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Jockeys hurt in fatal crash
The burnt wreckage of the plane in which two jockeys were injured and the pilot died
The light aircraft was heading for Goodwood
A light aircraft carrying two top jockeys has crashed at Newmarket racecourse, Suffolk, killing the pilot.

Frankie Dettori and Ray Cochrane have been airlifted to Addenbrooke's hospital where they are currently being treated.

Italian-born Dettori suffered a fractured right ankle and an injured thumb in the crash.

No details of Mr Cochrane's injuries have been released as he is still being evaluated by medical staff.

A spokesman for the hospital said Mr Dettori is in a "comfortable" condition with his wife Catherine at his bedside.

The aircraft involved was an American-built twin-propeller Piper Seneca, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

It nose-dived at about 1230 BST just after taking off from an airstrip alongside the July and Rowley Mile racecourses.

The jockeys were on their way to Goodwood racecourse in Sussex.

The aircraft caught fire on the ground and the two jockeys managed to scramble free. Fire crews tackled the flames but could not save the trapped pilot.

Ray Cochrane has head injuries
Ray Cochrane has head injuries
Captain Nick Lees, the director of racing and clerk of the course, said he was the first person to the scene of the crash.

"I ran on to the field and saw Frankie and Ray huddled together about 50 yards away from the plane. They were both conscious.

"I cannot even describe the emotions that went through my head. I just saw smoke billowing out of the plane."

A Suffolk fire service spokesman described the fire as "fairly severe".

"Fuel from the plane spilled onto the ground and burned," he said.

The jockeys were treated by paramedics at the scene before being airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

"He (Dettori) rang me from the hospital to say that he's OK," said Dettori's agent, Andrew Springer.

A Department of Transport spokesman said air accident investigators had travelled to the scene of the crash and would be mounting a full investigation.

The incident comes less than a month after Formula One driver David Coulthard escaped serious injury when his rented Learjet crashed near Lyon in France, killing both pilots.

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03 May 00 | Scotland
Coulthard survives plane crash
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