Light plane crashes into Australian shopping mall, death toll still unverified

By REUTERS
February 21, 2017 03:18
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

A small plane crashed into a shopping center near an airport outside Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, on Tuesday (February 21) and officials said an unknown number of people may have been killed.

"We understand that there potentially was a catastrophic engine failure but we are unsure at this stage. It gained a slight degree of altitude before crashing into the back of the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) and Focus on Furniture buildings that you see behind me. At this stage the fire is still ongoing and ourselves and the MFB (Metropolitan Fire Brigade) are working to put out the fire before we can take the matter any further," said Police Divisional Superintendent, Mick Frewen.

"It was a private charter flight, that I can tell you but as to the number of passengers on board and the exact destination of the flight at this point in time."

The network broadcast pictures showing smoke billowing from the shopping mall near Essendon airport, a small airfield close to Melbourne, and firefighters hosing down the burning wreckage.

Local media reported that there were five people on board.


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