A water bombing plane has crashed while fighting two raging bushfires in a southern region of Western Australia.
The Boeing 737-3 with two people on board went down over the Fitzgerald River National Park on Monday at around 4.40pm (WST) and crashed in the forest between Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun.
Both pilots survived the crash and were able to free themselves from the wreckage but sustained minor injuries, WA police Said.
“The two pilots on board were retrieved from the crash site by helicopter and airlifted to Ravensthorpe Airport,” WA Police said Monday evening.
“Both survived the crash with minor injuries and were conveyed to hospital via St John WA.”
#Australia:Two pilots survive after Coulson B737-300 N619SW large air tanker crashed in Fitzgerald River National Park while battling bushfires. pic.twitter.com/yDzfOTIMOB
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What triggered the plane to come down is so far unclear and Australian Transport Safety Bureau officers will attend the crash site to conduct an investigation.
The plane had taken off from the South West about 3.25pm.
The aircraft (reg. N619SW) belongs to Coulson Aviation. The aircraft — with its huge payload of more than 15,000 litres — has proven a game-changer for firefighters.
Dozens of firefighters are on the ground working to tame the fires, which are understood to have been sparked by lightning.