Victoria Media – Further Edition

Pilot, 4 Americans killed when plane crashes into Australian mall

Five people have been killed after a light plane crashed into a building in Essendon Fields this morning.

It is believed the plane had taken off from Essendon Fields Airport destined for King Island however crashed just after take-off shortly before 9am.

The aircraft struck a building that was part of a shopping complex just off Bulla Road.

The pilot and passengers, who are yet to be formally identified, died at the scene.

Police believe that all five occupants were male – the pilot was Australian and the four passengers were from the United States of America.

Police have spoken to and are providing ongoing support to the immediate families.

No one inside the buildings at the time of the crash was injured, however a number of people who witnessed the incident were treated for shock at the scene.

The Tullamarine Freeway is now open in both directions.

Entry to the shopping complex on Bulla Road is closed and will remain so for some time while the investigation is carried out.

The shopping complex will also remain closed tomorrow.

The exact cause of the crash is yet to be determined and will be investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau with assistance from police who will prepare a report for the Coroner.