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4 dead as plane, helicopter collide mid-air in southern UK

At least four people have been killed after a mid-air collision between a light aircraft and a helicopter in southern England, police say.

The incident took place after midday on Friday at Upper Winchendon, near the village of Waddesdon, about 45 miles (72 km) to the northwest of London, Reuters reported.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said the incident involved a two-seat helicopter and a two-seat Cessna 152 aircraft, each carrying two people. The aircraft had taken off from Wycombe Air Park.

“Officers are in the process of working to locate and support their next of kin. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has been informed and their staff have been on the scene,” Superintendent Rebecca Mears said in a statement.

Noting that the first priority was “preservation of life,” she said it was “too early to tell” what might have caused the crash. Air crash experts were investigating the crash site in dense woodland.

“There have been a number of casualties at the scene, but at this stage this is all we are able to confirm,” said a spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).

Wreckage from the mid-air crash in woodland at Upper Winchendon (Photo by Sky News/PA)

Reports said a “plume of smoke” could be seen near Waddesdon Hill after the crash.

Wreckage from the aircraft landed just over a mile from the former home of the Rothschild banking family at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.

Calling the incident a “tragedy,” the Waddesdon Manor said in a statement that the crash “did not happen at the manor nor have there been any casualties at Waddesdon Manor.”

Wycombe Air Park, also known as Booker Airfield, is located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the crash site and offers flight training.

The crash occurred around half an hour after the latest closure was supposed to end.

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