RESIDENTS are in a state of shock following the devastating news of a man dying after a plane crash landed in a field.

The man in his 50s was confirmed dead by police following the light aircraft crash at Belchamp Water at around 11.50am on Sunday.

Locals described how they had heard a crash and seen smoke coming from the field before finding how the news.

One local resident, who heard "several" police sirens drive past her home today, said she was "shocked" to hear of this devastating news.

Sandra Rodgers, 74, said: "We heard lots of police cars drive past but we didn't hear anything like a plane crash."

A dog walker added: "We were driving back from Sudbury and saw fumes and smoke. We thought that’s a big bonfire. Then we heard about the crash."

Another local, who wished to remain anonymous, described how they saw an aircraft crash into the field.

An Essex police spokesman said: "We were called to reports of a light aircraft in distress at Belchamp Walter just before 11.50am on February 3.

"Officers attended and, sadly, a man aged in his 50s was pronounced dead at the scene.

"His next of kin have been informed.

"We will be maintaining a presence at the scene over the coming days to assist the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in their enquiries."

A spokesman from the East Anglian Air Ambulance confirmed they were in attendance at the scene.

A local nearby to the scene said: "A helicopter did land in the field, there has been lots of police and services I’m sure they’ve got it in hand."