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Small Plane Crashes Into Australian Mall, 5 Believed Dead

  • VOA News

Australia Plane CrashThis image made from video shows the site of a plane crash at Essendon Airport in Melbourne, Australia, Feb. 21, 2017.

Authorities in Melbourne, Australia say five people are believed dead after a small plane crashed into a shopping mall just after takeoff Tuesday.

The plane experienced engine failure just after taking off, then hit the building and left fiery wreckage in the parking lot. The mall had not yet opened for the day.

"There was five people on the airplane and so at this stage it looks like nobody survived the crash," said Victoria State Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane.

A U.S. State Department official confirmed four U.S. citizens were on board the flight.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the families and love ones of all those who died on today's tragic crash," the official said.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews called the crash the worst civil aviation accident the state has seen in 30 years.

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