SYDNEY, February 21. /TASS/. A small turbo prop plane Beechcraft King Air 200 crashed early on Tuesday near the Essendon airport in the suburb of the Australian city of Melbourne.
The plane fell on the DFO shopping center, broke through the roof and exploded. A representative with police of Victoria State said that there were five people onboard and it is most likely that they all died.
The aircraft conducted a local charter flight to the King Island, located off the southern coast of Victoria. According to preliminary information, the passengers were American tourists who were flying to the island to play golf.
Firefighters continue to fight the fire. DFO shopping center at the time of the disaster was still closed for visitors. According to the local reports, there are no casualties among the employees of the shopping center.
According to rescuers, before the crash the pilot of the plane reported an engine failure. Victoria Police and the experts of the Australian Security Bureau have arrived at the scene of the accident and are conducting an investigation. Head of the government of Victoria State Daniel Andrews said that the today crash is the largest crash in the civil aviation of the state in the last 30 years.