Australia: Small plane carrying five crashes into shopping mall in Melbourne | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Australia: Small plane carrying five crashes into shopping mall in Melbourne

A small plane carrying five people crashed into a shopping centre near an airport outside Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, on Tuesday and officials said an unknown number of people may have been killed.

world Updated: Feb 21, 2017 22:08 IST
Australia

Fire crew at the scene where a light plane crashed into the back of a building at Essendon airport in Melbourne, Australia.(Reuters Photo)

A small plane carrying five people crashed into a shopping centre near an airport outside Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, on Tuesday and officials said an unknown number of people may have been killed.

“It appears to be a very, very tragic accident that’s occurred out here ... that’s potentially caused fatalities,” Victoria state police minister Lisa Neville told Sky News.

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.

Emergency services personnel are seen at the scene of a plane crash in Essendon in Melbourne. (Reuters Photo)

Neville said five people were on board the plane, which was a charter flight to King Island in Bass Strait between the Australian mainland and the southern island state of Tasmania.

Police said the plane crashed just before 9am (2300 GMT Monday), about an hour before the Direct Factory Outlet shopping mall was due to open.

“At this stage we do not have information regarding possible casualties,” Victoria state police said in a statement.

In this image made from video, smoke billows from the site of a plane crash near Essendon Airport in Melbourne. (AP Photo)

Essendon Airport is a small airfield mainly used by light planes. A spokesperson for Airservices Australia said flights in and out of Melbourne’s main airport were not affected.

This image made from video shows the site of a plane crash near Essendon Airport in Melbourne. (AP Photo)