Europe

Plane crash-lands on Portuguese beach, killing man, girl

An afternoon at the beach ended in horror Wednesday when a small plane made an emergency landing amongst the crowds on the sand outside Lisbon, killing a 56-year-old man and an 8-year-old girl who were sunbathing.

Beachgoers in Caparica, 20 miles south of Lisbon, said people were running into the sea to avoid being hit, according to The Associated Press.

"We don't know what happened, it is not clear yet," Local journalist Ricardo Conceicao told Sky News. "We are used to seeing small planes cruising along the shore, along the beach near Lisbon."

The small aircraft, reportedly a Cessna, was carrying two people and appeared have a partly-broken left wing. Its operators lost control around 5 p.m. local time before skimming over the crowds and making the emergency landing, witnesses said.

The National Maritime Authority said the man and girl died on the beach, while officials added that they were not aware of any injured people. The causes of their deaths were not immediately clear, but their bodies lay covered on the sand as police cordoned off the area.

The dead girl was visiting the beach with her parents, who were unhurt, witnesses told local television channels. The plane passed over the dead man's legs as he sunbathed on a towel, they said. 

Those onboard the plane – who were not injured -- were being questioned by police, The Associated Press reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.