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Small plane crashes into Melbourne mall, killing five

Small plane crashes into Melbourne mall, killing five
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By Euronews
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Local media reports say the victims are American tourists who were heading south on a golfing trip.

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A light plane has crashed into the roof of a shopping mall in the Australian city of Melbourne, killing all five people on board.

Unconfirmed local media reports said the passengers were American tourists heading to King Island for a golfing trip.

The number of casualties could have been much higher. The plane crashed just before 9 am local time, about an hour before the mall was due to open.

Five people die as a light aircraft crashes in a “massive fireball”, hitting a shopping centre near Melbourne https://t.co/67rewsanlEpic.twitter.com/C8qo0qFqJ6

— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 21, 2017

FIVE DEAD: Engine failure may be cause of Essendon plane crash; no survivors among those on board >> https://t.co/BkKxwCAUtppic.twitter.com/xGr1W4L3Fi

— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) February 21, 2017

Police said the plane took off from Essendon airport, but suffered engine failure and smashed into the mall near the end of the runway. Witnesses said it exploded on impact.

According to local authorities, it’s the worst plane crash in 30 years in the state of Victoria.

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.

.DanielAndrewsMP</a>: Today's a desperately sad day. People have died as a result of the worst civil aviation accident... in 30 years <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/essendon?src=hash">#essendon</a> <a href="https://t.co/GsW8UCZ47O">pic.twitter.com/GsW8UCZ47O</a></p>— ABC News 24 (ABCNews24) February 21, 2017

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