Two pilots have defied death after their water-bombing plane crashed and burst into an inferno in remote Western Australia.
The plane crash-landed and ironically exploded into flames while battling a bushfire in Fitzgerald National Park about 420km (260 miles) southeast of Perth on Monday (February 6).
Images taken from the crash site show thick plumes of smoke spewing from the aircraft on the ground, with the rear of the plane completely ablaze.
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Emergency services arrived on the scene to find the tail entirely separate from the aircraft.
Amazingly, however, both pilots involved in the crash were released from hospital only a day after the accident.
According to the the Australian Associated Press, the men are thought to to be Canadian citizens.
The state's emergency services minister Stephen Dawson told a news conference on Tuesday: "It is nothing short of miraculous that they were able to walk from that plane.
"We are very grateful that they are healthy and, well, it is a truly remarkable outcome. And it is probably testament to their skill as pilots."
The bureau's chief commissioner Angus Mitchell said: "It is a remarkable outcome that both of the crew have managed to get themselves out of the aircraft and are safe and well."
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"A large aircraft going down is generally quite catastrophic," he said.
But in this lucky escape the plane seemed to have clipped a ridge and "pancaked" to the ground.
"Certainly a horizontal landing as opposed to vertical into the ground makes a big difference," he said.
Investigators are due to investigate the site today (Wednesday 8) if it is deemed to be safe.
In January 2020 three American pilots died when a C-130 Hercules tanker crashed in the east coast state of New South Wales, where they were also fighting wildfires in January 2020.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said Monday’s crash was the first accident involving a Boeing 737 in Australian history.
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