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The wreckage of the crashed plane in Neuenstein

Photo: Hendrik Urbin / dpa

Two people were killed in the crash of a small aircraft in Neuenstein in the Hersfeld-Rotenburg district. As the police headquarters of East Hesse announced, the two-seater propeller plane crashed around noon on a field. The cause is still unclear. According to initial findings, the aircraft was the "Pilatus PC-9" model of a company from Kiel and had been chartered by the German Armed Forces.

A spokeswoman for the Bundeswehr confirmed to the dpa news agency in the late afternoon that the civilian aircraft had been in the air as part of a training mission and referred to the Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigations (BFU), which investigates accidents involving civil aircraft.

In addition, investigations are underway with the police and the public prosecutor's office, as the presidium of East Hesse explained. The identity of the two dead has not yet been established beyond doubt. "To identify and clarify the cause of death, the public prosecutor's office in Fulda has ordered an autopsy," it said.

For the time being, the crash site has been largely cordoned off for the ongoing recovery and clean-up work. Pictures showed a wide field of debris.