Update 22.24pm: Gardaí have confirmed that a man and a seven-year-old boy have died following a plane crash in County Offaly.
Their bodies have been recovered within the past hour and are being brought to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore for a post-mortem examination.
The light aircraft crashed into bogland near Edenderry this afternoon after taking off earlier from an airstrip at Clonbullogue with 16 parachutists on board - all of whom made their jump, before the plane was spotted in difficulty.
Update 7.24pm: Fears for pilot and seven-year-old boy after light aircraft crashes
A plane carrying a man and young boy has crashed minutes after 16 parachutists jumped from the aircraft.
Emergency services are at the scene of Sunday afternoon’s crash in Co Offaly.
The pilot, believed to be from the UK, and a seven-year-old local boy were on board when the plane went down in bog land.
Gardai said there was no confirmation on whether either had survived the crash.
The aircraft had taken off from Clonbullogue airfield around two kilometres away at around 2.25pm. The facility is popular with skydivers.
A Garda spokesman said there were 16 parachutists on board.
“All 16 made their jump from the craft,” he said.
“However, witnesses then saw the aircraft crash shortly afterwards. There were two people on board, the pilot and a seven-year-old boy. The pilot is believed to be a UK national.
“The plane was later located a number of kilometres from the airfield crashed in bog land. A rescue/recovery operation is under way.”
Local councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick said the airfield had a long established reputation for parachuting.
“People would be over there all the time, especially at weekends in the summer, a lot of people parachuting and a lot of fundraising jumpers,” he said.
“It’s a great shock to hear of an accident like that happening.”
Fellow Offaly councillor Noel Cribbin said: “This is a big shock to the area.
“These flights have been happening for the last 20 years and this is the first time I’ve heard of a plane going down – it is very worrying.”
- Press Association
Earlier: Pilot and seven-year-old boy on board as light aircraft crashes in Co Offaly
A light aircraft has crashed near Edenderry in County Offaly.
There were two people on board, the pilot and a seven-year-old boy, with the plane came down near Clonbollogue.
Gardaí say the plane took off 2.25pm from Clonbullogue Airfield carrying 16 parachutists.
All 16 made their jump from the craft. Witnesses then saw the aircraft crash shortly afterwards.
Gardaí say the plane was later located about two kilometres from the airfield crashed in bog land close to the airfield where a rescue operation is underway.
There is no confirmation of any deaths at this point in time.
Celia Lynch is a member of the local flying community, who said says her husband and friends were flying light aircraft in the area at the time of the crash, but have since landed safely.
"Sitting in the garden having our lunch and we heard the plane going up - because we often hear the parachute plane going up - we always listen out for it because it has a distinctive noise," said Ms Lynch.
"And it went up in the air and then seemed to stop. And normally it does that because it lets the parachuters go.
"But it obviously stopped and didn't start again."
More to follow...