Kiwis die in skydiving plane inferno

Rahi Hohua and Joey King. Photo / Facebook
Rahi Hohua and Joey King. Photo / Facebook

Two expat Kiwis are dead after a fiery plane crash in Queensland, Australia, claimed the lives of everyone on board.

Queensland's Sunday Mail reported that five people died when a Cessna 206, run by Adrenalin Skydivers, crashed during takeoff at an airstrip 50 km north of Brisbane yesterday.

The newspaper named couple Rahi Hohua and Joey King, who lived in Logan, Queensland, as among the dead. It was reported the pair were parents to five children.

According to their Facebook pages, Mr King was originally from Auckland and Ms Hohua hailed from Hamilton.

In a now chilling message, Mr King posted on his Facebook yesterday morning: ``So I woke up this morning nervous as hell about the sky diving today. I'm about to conquer my greatest fear. I love everyone lol.''

Mr King's page says he attended Manurewa High School and worked for Metcash, an Australian distribution and marketing company. Online profiles for Ms Hohua say the 27-year-old attended a high school in Australia and Fraser High School in Hamilton.

In an old message she describes herself as a trained nail technician who was planning on expanding her horizons.

Witnesses told the Mail the Cessna headed left during lift-off and was at a very low altitude when it plunged into the ground and burst into flames.

Among the dead were experiences instructors Glenn Norman and Jurag Glesk, who had thousands of jumps under their belts.

According to the newspaper, Adrenalin Skydivers was involved in a similar incident in 2010 when seven people survived a crash when a plane suffered engine trouble on takeoff.

Ms Hohua's brother Inia Hohua told The Sunday Mail she, a mother of two, and Mr King, a dad of three, had been together for more than two years and planned to marry.

"They were consumed by love. If you knew them you would have seen it,'' Mr Hohua said.

He said family members had rushed to the crash scene and were supporting each other. Before taking off Ms Hohua and Mr King exchanged excited Facebook messages about the planned skydive.

- APNZ

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