A water-bomber plane attempting to extinguish wildfires in Australia has crashed in a horrific accident. According to rural fire teams the plane crashed while tackling the blazes that have been ravaging large swathes of Australia for months.
Contact with the large airplane was lost while it was flying over the Snowy Monaro area, New South Wales (NSW).
Local media report that: “Local ground crews indicate the aircraft may have crashed.”
It is not yet clear whether any casualties have resulted from the crash.
NSW has been among the worst hit areas in Australia, with several fires currently burning – many of them considered highly dangerous and out of control.
Five emergency warnings have been issued for NSW as bushfires in Australia intensify to horrific levels, with some residents told it is too late for them to leave their towns.
The states Rural Fire Service (RFS) say it is now too late to leave several locations in the area, including Mount Durrah, Rocky Hall and Stoves Road in NSW, and Beard, Oaks Estate and West Queanbeyan in Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Fires are currently burning just 40km (0.6miles) away from the city’s central business district and remains at a level that authorities are monitoring in the case of it spreading further inwards.
Residents in the Hills District have been told there is still a heightened level of threat to homes and it is essential they remain vigilant.
Firefighters have also issued an emergency warning for a fire at Big Jack Mountain Road, in Rocky Hall, an area in the Bega Valley and Adaminably Complex, in Snowy Monaro.
“Protect yourself from the heat of fire.”
An out of control fire at Pillage Avenue in ACT, and the Clyde Mountain fire at Eurobodalla also reached emergency level.
Due to the increasingly hazardous conditions Canberra Airport has been closed, with no flights arriving or departing.
Shortly before 1pm, the Box Hill and Nelson fire in the Hills District of Sydney was upgraded to emergency level.