A man is fighting for his life in hospital after a light aircraft crashed near the Essex border "shortly after take-off" today.

Police, paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene of the incident at the Damyns Hall Aerodrome on Aveley Road in Upminster after 12pm today (April 4).

A woman who was in the plane suffered minor injuries, while the man's have been described as "potentially life-threatening or life-changing".

Havering Met Police tweeted: "We were called at 12.12hrs today to reports of a light aircraft that crashed shortly after take-off, in the area of Aveley Road in Upminster.

"Despite initial reports of no serious injuries, the man has been taken to hospital with potentially life-changing or life-threatening injuries."

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters attempted to release the man trapped in the aircraft.

Station Commander Jeremy Davies, who was at the scene, added: “Firefighters worked with partners to release a man and a woman trapped inside a lightweight aircraft in woodland near the aerodrome.

"They were both taken to hospital by road and air ambulance crews."

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said they were called to the crash at 12.06pm.

A spokesman for the service commented: “We sent numerous resources to the scene including three ambulances, a medic in a response car, two incident response officers and members of our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).

"We also dispatched London’s air ambulance."

Both victims are now in the hospital.

A crash in October 2021 similarly left the pilot with serious injuries at the Damyns Hall Aerodrome.