Two men have died after a light aircraft crashed into a field today.

Firefighters from Chelmsford, Colchester and Maldon rushed to the field next to the A414 near Cooksmill Green, in between Ongar and Writtle, at around 2.55pm.

Essex Police said the Yak 52 aircraft's pilot and passenger, both from Essex, were killed after the plane flew out from North Weald airfield.

A spokesman said: "Two people have died after a YAK 52 light aircraft was seen to be in difficulties and then crashed into a field off the A414 near Cooksmill Green (between Writtle and Ongar) around 2.55pm today.

"Emergency services rushed to the scene and fire crews extinguished the fire caused when the plane crashed. Two men, a pilot and his passenger - both from Essex, were on board.

"The plane had flown out from North Weald airfield.

"Investigators from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) will be investigating the cause of the crash."

Officers are trying to contact the men's next of kin.

When firefighters arrived, the plane was completely alight and they used foam to extinguish the fire by 3.55pm.

Two people were killed when a Yak 52 aircraft from North Weald crashed in April 2011.

Instructor Simon Hulme, 33, and student Spencer Bennett, 43, were killed when their plane crashed into a lake near Langford.