Glider crash sparks grass fire

Glider crash sparks grass fire

26 January 2009

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New Zealand — A glider that crashed in Waipukurau this afternoon started a grass fire that blocked off State Highway 2.

The glider, which was being flown by a flying instructor and a student, hit the lines and crashed in the Waipukurau Aerodrome about 2.30pm, the aerodrome’s chief flying instructor Ross Macdonald told Radio New Zealand.

The pair managed to escape the glider before the flames took hold of it and received only minor injuries.

Police said the crash started a grass fire that spread west and jumped Hatuma Rd.

The main fire was contained just over an hour later, central fire communications shift manager David Meikle said.

Six fire engines and two tankers were still at the scene dampening down hot spots, he said.

Hatuma Rd was closed off at the intersection with SH2 to allow emergency services to deal with the incident.

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