A light plane carrying five people onboard crashed into a shopping center near Melbourne Essendon Airport on Tuesday. The authorities said that the number of people been killed in the mishap was yet to be known.  However, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told 9News “a number of people” on board, believed to be all five, were killed.

“This is the worst single aviation accident Victoria has seen in 30 years,” he said. The plane was en-route to King Island but crashed soon after taking off at 9:00 a.m.

The Melbourne Essendon Airport charter flight crashed into the back of two shops – Focus on Furniture and JB Hi Fi, Victorian Police Superintendent Mick Frewen said. He also said that it seemed to be a mishap caused due to “catastrophic engine failure.” The superintendent of police claimed the presence of some debris on the freeway as well.

Police Minister Lisa Neville confirmed the news and called the Melbourne Essendon Airport incident a “very, very tragic accident” that caused potential fatalities. “It appears a light plane, which is a charter flight, has impacted the DFO [shopping center] at Essendon Fields,” Neville said. “There’s also debris that’s been left on the [Tullamarine] freeway.”

Authorities, however, have released no details of fatalities or injuries yet. The media broadcast pictures featured smoke billowing from the shopping mall near the spot after the Melbourne Essendon Airport plane crash. There were firefighters trying to bring the situation under control. Almost 13 fire trucks were there at the scene.

Police radar websites indicated that the light plane was a Beechcraft B200 Super King Air. On the other hand, Victorian police said that they are unable to trace the actual position of the casualties at this stage. Meanwhile, the owner of the private charter plane flight operator Corporate and Leisure Aviation told the ABC that she has been awaiting emergency services’ confirmation if the charter plane was theirs.

Witnesses Share Details of Melbourne Essendon Airport Plane Crash

A witness from Adelaide, Jason, said that he was in a cab when the plane crashed. He saw the plane coming in low and fast. “”It looked like it hit the building, there was a massive fireball, I could feel the heat through the window,” he said.  “Then a wheel, it looked like a plane wheel, bounced on the road.”

On the other hand, a caller on ABC Radio, Michael, shared his experience. He said that he was entering the Calder Freeway from the Tullamarine Freeway when he saw the plane crash. A local resident Mickey Cahil said that he witnessed the plane forwarding close to houses ahead of crashing. He called it a “really ominous” experience.

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