Two killed as plane crashes in front of shocked onlookers
PERTH'S Australia Day Skyworks display was canceled after two people died following a plane crash into the Swan River in front of thousands of shocked onlookers.
The incident happened just after 5pm (local time).
It is understood two people, who police have confirmed were a man and a woman, were on board when the crash occurred near Heirisson Island.
The pilot and passenger were confirmed dead a short time later. It is reported that the pair are a husband and wife.
Police said the aircraft would not be removed overnight and that they would wait until morning.
The plane crashes into the Swan River in Perth, with this image caught on social media. Picture: twitter
At the South Perth foreshore, families setting up for tonight's Skyworks rushed to the river's edge as the plane crashed into the water.
"I was watching the show and all I saw was the plane just nose dive into the water," witness Natasha Eyles said.
"As it hit the water you could see the plane break into two."
The plane broke into pieces as soon as it hit the water. Picture: twitter
Witness Craig Newill was with his family when the plane went down.
"We were so stunned and shocked," he said.
"We could see him stall.
"His wings were pointing to the sky and to the water and we thought 'this is not good' then we saw it break into two pieces."
Two people were killed in the incident which pappened inf ront of thousands of people. Picture: twitter
PerthNow reader Kristijana Dutkovic said: "Saw it do a couple of passes over the water & then it dropped straight into the water.
"Boats were quick to respond though - hope they (are) alright."
The City of Perth issued a statement just after 6pm confirming Skyworks had been cancelled due to the incident.
The display, which attracts massive crowds each year, had been due to start at 8pm. It is the first time the event has been cancelled in its 33-year history.