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Mon, Mar 05, 2007

Single Engine Plane Crashes Near Aussie Cricket Match

Three In Plane Not Seriously Injured, Cricket Team Plays On

Just another day in the life of the Australian cricket team.

First, some of the team's luggage didn't make the final 40-minute flight from Barbados to St. Vincent on Friday.

Then, as Australia was only 30 minutes into its official World Cup campaign, a single-engine plane crashed a little over 200 yards from where the world champions were having their first training session Saturday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The single-propeller aircraft, type unknown, appeared to lose control in strong winds near the Arnos Vale Ground, St Vincent, crashing into a small river at about 9:30 am.

Reports indicated that the pilot lost control in cross winds when attempting to land at the ET Joshua Airport at the northern end of the playing ground. Arnos Vale Ground is built in a tight pocket of St Vincent between the airport and the sea.

The team was unaware of the event until ambulances and fire engines arrived at the scene.

"Two men and one woman were rescued," one eyewitness said. "Everyone is alive and that is the most important thing." A spokesman for the nearby Joshua Airport confirmed three people had been on board and no one was killed.

"They were all taken to hospital. The plane was landing. I think it was coming from Barbados," the spokesman said. "We're not sure exactly what caused the crash."

A crowd of about 100 was kept from the bridge that overlooked the creek where the plane lay upside down in knee-deep water.

A fleet of emergency vehicles, sirens blaring, rushed to and from the crash scene as the Australians continued to train on the main oval at the 12,000-seat venue.

Australia's Mike Hussey was in the nets at the far side of the ground when the accident happened.

"I've only just heard about it," Hussey said. "I believe there were a couple of injuries. Fingers crossed they are not too bad. I'm sure they'll be looked after well and hopefully they can recover as quickly as possible."

FMI: www.cricket.com.au, http://gc.kls2.com/airport/SVD

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