A pilot and four American passengers were killed on Tuesday when a small plane crashed in to the roof of a shopping mall after taking off from an airfield outside Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, police said.
The twin-turboprop Beechcraft King Air plane suffered an engine failure and crashed into the mall near the end of the runway at Essendon Airport, Victoria State Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane told reporters in Melbourne.
Witnesses told Australian Associated Press the plane exploded on impact.
"There were five people on the airplane, and it looks like nobody's survived the crash," Leane said.
The crash happened at around 9 a.m., about an hour before the mall was due to open, and there were no fatalities other than those aboard the aircraft, he added.
"All five occupants were male—the pilot was Australian, and the four passengers were from the United States of America," Victoria police said in a later statement.
Sky News showed burning wreckage strewn across the mall's carpark and a thick column of black smoke rising from the crash site.
The plane had been bound for King Island in Bass Strait between the mainland and the southern island state of Tasmania and Australian newspapers reported that at least two of the men were traveling to play golf on the island's famed links.
A spokeswoman for Airservices Australia said flights in and out of Melbourne's main airport were unaffected. Essendon Airport, which is used mainly by light aircraft, remained closed.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the crash.
© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Incredible Savings, Inspiration and Encouragement from CHARISMA:
- End Of The Year - Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
- Big Discounts On Book Bundles & Gifts: Click Here to view all our bundles and save up to 72%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, and more.
- FREE eCourses by CHARISMA: Click Here to view all eight of our free courses. Topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Women Of God: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Prayer Changes Everything! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.