Light plane carrying 5 crashes into shopping centre in Melbourne

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

MELBOURNE: A light aircraft carrying 5 people crashed Tuesday in a “massive fireball”, hitting a shopping centre near the Australian city of Melbourne and sending black smoke billowing into the air, witnesses and officials said.

The Beechcraft plane veered just after take-off into the shopping centre, that had yet to open, next to Essendon airport.

“It’s too early to know whether there has been fatalities,” Victoria state police minister Lisa Neville said.

“But it appears to be a very, very tragic accident that has occurred out there.”

She could not provide any casualty figures but confirmed 5 people were on board the private charter from Essendon, north of Melbourne, to King Island, 55 minutes to the south.

Live television footage showed burnout wreckage, flames and major damage at the shopping centre and adjacent buildings.

A column of thick black smoke rose into the air as witnesses spoke of explosions.

“It appears a light plane, which is a charter flight, has impacted the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) at Essendon Fields,” Neville added.

Victoria police superintendent Mick Frewen said investigations centred on a “catastrophic engine failure”.

The flight made a May-Day call before crashing, he added.

A major freeway which runs alongside the local airport to was shut to allow wreckage to be cleared.

Source by: Internet

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