A small aircraft crashed into the roof of a shopping mall in Melbourne and killed all five people onboard. The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air reportedly suffered engine failure and crashed into the Directory Factory Outlet mall located near the end of the runway at Essendon Airport, Victoria shortly after takeoff.
Image: CBC News / AP
Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said nobody onboard survived the crash and no one on ground was injured. "Looking at the fireball, it is incredibly lucky that no one was at the back of those stores or in the car park of the stores, that no one was even hurt," he said. The incident happened just about one hour before the mall was to open for business.
Image: The Star / Reuters
Eyewitness relayed that the aircraft had exploded upon impact. Authorities revealed that one of the pilots had reported a catastrophic engine failure just moments before the crash. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will investigate the incident.
According to a spokeswoman for Airservices Australia, flights in and out of Melbourne's main airport were unaffected. Essendon Airport, which is used mainly by smaller aircrafts, remained closed.
The plane was bound for King Island, 255 kilometres to the south.