Britons 'not on board' Dominican Republic plane which crashed

Initial reports suggested two Britons were among the seven dead

Updated: 
DOMINICAN REP-TOURISM-PUNTA CANA

Britons are no longer thought be among seven people who died in a plane crash in the Dominican Republic, officials have said.

The accident is believed to have happened early yesterday (Monday) in the east of the island when the single-engine Piper PA-32 crashed shortly after take-off and initial reports suggested two Britons were among the dead.

But a spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are liaising with the authorities in the Dominican Republic following reports of a plane crash in the Punta Cana region of the country. Engagement with the local police suggests no British nationals were involved in the incident". WORDS: PA.

The FO initially said it was investigating after reports suggested local police said four of the six passengers were tourists from Spain and two were from Britain. The pilot was from the Dominican Republic.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are looking into reports of an incident involving a light aircraft in the Punta Cana region on the Dominican Republic.

"The British embassy in Santo Domingo is leasing with local authorities to urgently gather more information and stands ready to offer consular assistance if required."

The pilot was apparently trying to make an emergency landing when the plane struck the ground at a golf course near the airport and burst into flames, Civil Aviation Institute spokesman Hector Olivo told the Associated Press.

The plane was en route to the Samana Peninsula off the north coast and was carrying a pilot and six passengers.

Civil aviation officials were dispatched to the scene and are investigating the cause of the crash.

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Dominican Republic Plane Crash Kills Seven