Dad ‘dug with bare hands’ to rescue tragic son from plane crash wreckage

A distraught father who watched his seven-year-old son die in a plane crash "dug with his bare hands" in a desperate bid to rescue the tragic youngster.

Kris Kacprzak and 15 other parachutists had made a scheduled jump from the small plane just minutes before it went down.

His son Kacper stayed on board with pilot Neil ‘Billy’ Bowditch and both were killed in the tragedy in Co Offaly, Ireland.

Mr Kacprzak, from Dublin, ran more than half a mile to the boggy site after witnessing the crash and desperately tried to dig out his son, the Irish Mirror reports.

A source close to the Irish Parachute Club told the Irish Daily Mail that the tragedy was unfolding by the time Mr Kacprzak had safely landed on the ground after jumping from the light aircraft.

The plane went down on bog land in the Irish midlands on Sunday afternoon.

The source said: "Kris made the jump from the plane and by the time he landed, this terrible tragedy was unfolding.

"Kris dug with his bare hands during the recovery operation as we battled to save them.

"Kris is something of a skydive enthusiast and Kacper loved his father.

"He loved planes and I have no doubt as he grew up would have loved to be up there with his dad."

The source added: "The pilot was a very well respected and experienced pilot from the UK.

"We have no idea what could have happened but it is very much tragedy for both families and for us as a wider community."

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up by Allaiouti Hassan, a friend of the Kacprzaks, to help both grieving families.

It has raised more than £20,000 so far.

Hassan said: "We are heartbroken by the loss of two cherished members of our family at the Irish Parachute Club, little Kacper, son of our dear friend and fellow skydiver Kris, and Billy, a true gentlemen and a thoughtful and great pilot.

"This is a difficult time for us all. I know that our skydiving family and the wider community want to come together and do what we can to support the families affected by this tragic accident.

"I myself have a son the same age as Kacper who loves planes. Having met Kacper at the club I know he was such a beautiful boy who would touch anyone’s heart."

The Irish Parachute Club said it was "deeply saddened" and confirmed the aircraft had been operating on its behalf.

It thanked the emergency services and investigators.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit examined the scene on Monday.

The bodies were recovered from the wreckage on Sunday night and taken for post-mortem examinations at Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore.

The aircraft had taken off from Clonbullogue airfield at around 2.25pm. The crash happened a few miles away near Edenderry.

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