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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 December, 2003, 23:30 GMT
Three die in Oxford plane crash
The plane was
The plane was "crushed like cardboard"
Three people have been killed when their light aircraft flipped upside down and crashed near an airfield after narrowly missing a busy dual-carriageway.

The single-engine four-seater plane came down in a field as it tried to land at Oxford Airport after a flight from Brussels, Belgium.

Everyone on board was killed in the crash at 1120 GMT on Saturday.

Thames Valley Police say the victims were a French man and woman and a male Belgian pilot.

The passengers were named by the Agence France Presse news agency - quoting a source close to the family - as businessman Paul-Louis Halley, 69, and his wife Annick, 63.

Mr Halley was one of the principal shareholders in the French supermarket giant Carrefour, the world's second largest retailer, and was also co-founder of the Promodes fashion group.

Witnesses available

Sergeant Adrian Wappner told BBC News a "routine flight" had "come into difficulties".

"We have got witnesses and an investigation will be taking place in conjunction with Thames Valley Police," he added.

The aircraft, registered in Luxembourg, narrowly missed the A44 road next to the airfield, which has been closed by police between Bladon and Langford Lane.

Fire crews and the air ambulance were also at the scene.

Map of Kidlington
The plane nearly came down onto a dual-carriageway next to the airfield

Pilot Mark Coombs, from Charlbury, witnessed the accident from his car as he drove south on the motorway.

He said: "The aircraft appeared to be making a fairly normal approach at about 200-300 yards before the end of the runway.

"It made a level left turn and rolled to the left and then went down, almost spiralling perpendicularly."

A BBC Radio Oxford reporter at the scene said the aircraft had been "crushed like cardboard".

About 30 police officers were in attendance.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Catherine Riddle
"The aircraft was approaching normally when it appeared to loop back on itself"



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