Almeria firefighter dies in crash

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Photo: Junta de Andalucia.
Firefighting: a dangerous profession. (Stock Photo).


INFOCA, the organisation responsible for controlling forest fires lost a key member of their team on Sunday. The pilot, a woman in her 40s, died when the Alpha 1 AT 802 aircraft she was flying, crashed during attempts to control a forest fire close to Tijola and Seron, at the top of the A-334.

Witnesses to the accident commented on the “strange movements” of the aircraft’s tail just moments before it fell and collided with the ground.

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The fire began at a little before 1pm, and was declared under control the same afternoon.

The deceased pilot had a long professional history in fire fighting and more than 5,000 hours of experience in this type of aircraft, according to INFOCA in a statement that passed condolences to her family.

Besides piloting aircraft, the woman was also a flight instructor who conducted numerous fire extinction campaigns across Andalucia.

She had carried out eight campaigns with INFOCA alone. During the winter time, she helped with fire extinctions in Chile, South America.

The woman, originally from Madrid, leaves behind her husband and a daughter.

INFOCA have promised a full investigation into the potential causes of the accident.

The mayor of Seron, Juan Antonio Lorenzo, visited the scene on Sunday afternoon and offered his full support and condolences to the family and friends of the much loved pilot. He talked about the Seron people’s sadness that this could have happened.

Jose Manuel Ortiz, delegate for Environment of the Junta, also wished to express his condolences to the family saying, “She was a very experienced pilot, yet so young. It is such a shame that this has happened.”

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