Officials in Australia on Thursday located a water tanker plane that crashed while fighting wildfires, killing three onboard, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed, according to multiple reports.
Rural Fire Service officials said earlier that helicopters were looking for the plane, that crashed in the Snowy Monaro region of New South Wales state, BBC reported.
There were few other initial details about the plane or the search.
Also Thursday, Canberra Airport closed because of nearby wildfires, and residents south of Australia’s capital were told to seek shelter.
The blaze started Wednesday but strong winds and high temperatures caused conditions in Canberra to deteriorate. A second fire near the airport that started on Thursday morning is at the “watch and act” level.
“Arrivals and departures are affected due to aviation firefighting operations,” the airport authority said in a tweet.
Another tweet from traffic police said “the fire is moving fast and there are multiple road closures in the area. Please avoid the area. Local road blocks in place.”
Residents in some Canberra suburbs were advised to seek shelter and others to leave immediately.
“The defense force is both assisting to a degree and looking to whether that needs to be reinforced,” Defense Minister Angus Campbell told reporters.
“I have people who are both involved as persons who need to be moved from areas and office buildings that are potentially in danger, and also those persons who are part of the (Operation) Bushfire Assist effort,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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