A councillor has paid tribute following a tragic incident which saw a pilot die after a plane crash in Essex. 

Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the crash near the A131 in Pebmarsh at about 9.25am on Monday.

On arrival firefighters reported a light aircraft was on fire and firefighters from Colchester, Halstead and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service worked to quickly extinguish the fire.

A man in his 70s, the sole occupant of the light aircraft, was found dead at the scene.

Officers are working alongside investigators with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), who had sent a team to the scene, to establish the circumstances around the incident.

A road closure was put in place in Pebmarsh Road and was expected to remain in place overnight and into Tuesday while enquiries continued.

Halstead Gazette: ROAD CLOSED: The scene nearby after the plane crash in PebmarshROAD CLOSED: The scene nearby after the plane crash in Pebmarsh (Image: Newsquest)

Anyone with any information about the Pebmarsh crash is being asked to contact Essex Police, quoting the incident number 270 of August 21.

Colnes ward councillor Gabrielle Spray said: “It is a terribly sad incident, and I am desperately sorry.

“I understand the pilot died at the scene.

“I think I may have heard it on Monday morning. It must have been just after 9am and I heard a plane sound which sounded quite low.

“I am used to the sound of small planes from the Earls Colne airfield as I live in the village.

“I looked outside but couldn’t see anything so just assume it may have been a large plane even though I wasn’t sure why one would be so low.

“It was about 45 minutes to an hour later I saw the news circulating on social media.”

Halstead Gazette: TERRIBLY SAD: Councillor Gabrielle Spray has paid tribute after the tragic incidentTERRIBLY SAD: Councillor Gabrielle Spray has paid tribute after the tragic incident (Image: Braintree Council)

Ms Spray added: “Now it is about coming together and supporting people as a community.

“I can only imagine it is particularly shocking for those living close by. Pebmarsh is only a small village and I know they will be very shaken up.

“I am desperately sorry for the family and hopefully soon we will know more.

“Once we do the time for tributes will come but for now my thoughts are with everyone involved.”