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Botswana crash: Pilot's friend cleared party before plane flew into building

About 50 people narrowly escaped a fiery death when a pilot took his own life by flying an aircraft into a clubhouse at the Matsieng airstrip in an attempt to kill his wife.

South African pilot Charl Viljoen crashed an aircraft into a building allegedly in an attempt to kill his wife. Picture: Facebook

PRETORIA - About 50 people narrowly escaped a fiery death when a pilot took his own life by flying an aircraft into a clubhouse at the Matsieng airstrip in an attempt to kill his wife.

It’s understood the pilot identified as South African Charl Viljoen had earlier assaulted his wife before being chased away from the venue.

It’s alleged he stole a twin-engine aircraft and flew it into the building where a baby shower was being held.

Viljoen was employed by Botswana-based Kalahari Air Services.

It’s alleged that Viljoen got drunk and had a physical altercation with his wife before being chased away and stealing an aircraft.

This man, whose friend was at the party, explains what happened next.

“He phoned his one mate on the ground who was still at the party and he wanted to know where his wife was. The guy that he called started shouting so that everybody could run away. And then he flew into the Matsieng clubhouse committing suicide. If that guy didn’t tell everybody or didn’t get a feeling that something was wrong with this guy, there would have been about 50 people dead.”

Video footage of the aftermath shows a building and numerous cars engulfed in flames.

If this article has raised issues for you or if you’re concerned about someone you know, call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567.

Or you can call the gender-based violence hotline on 0800 428 428 or SMS 'Help' to 31531.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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