Five Killed In Melbourne Plane Crash
By Victor Ernest with agency report
A light aircraft exploded Tuesday in a “massive fireball” with police saying none of the five people aboard survived as it smashed into a shopping centre near the Australian city of Melbourne.
“Five on the aircraft and looks like no-one has survived the crash,” said Victoria police assistant commissioner Stephen Leane.
Victoria premier Daniel Andrews was reported to have described it as the state’s worst air accident in three decades.
The crash was said to have happened near Melbourne’s minor Essendon Airport.
A column of thick black smoke was said to have rose into the air as witnesses spoke of an explosion.
“It appears a light plane, which is a charter flight, has impacted the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) at Essendon Fields,” police minister Lisa Neville said.
Video broadcast on local media showed black smoke rising from the wreckage.
Police said they were evacuating the area and a nearby freeway was closed in both directions.
Essendon Airport is small airfield mostly used by light planes about 13km (8 miles) north-west of central Melbourne.