- 28/02/2017 - World
At 9:00, local time on Tuesday February 21, a Beechcraft B200 King Air crashed into a shopping centre in Melbourne, Australia. Four US citizens and an Australian pilot died in this unfortunate event.
The region of Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said it was the worst civilian aviation accident in the state for 30 years. A spokeswoman for Spotlight, a retailer in the complex, said the plane crashed into the rear warehouse but all staff were safe. Luckily, the centre was not open to the public at the time of the crash.
An Australian pilot and four American tourists on a golfing vacation were killed when twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air crashed in a "massive fireball" into a shopping mall on Tuesday shortly after takeoff in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said.
The US Embassy in Canberra confirmed that four victims were US citizens. Texans Greg Reynolds De Haven and Russell Munsch have been identified by their families on social media as two of the victims.
No one was injured or killed on the ground but unfortunately the fliers. A person said,’today is a very sad day.’
De Haven's sister Denelle Wicht posted on Facebook that her 70-year-old brother had been killed "on a once in a lifetime trip to Australia" with friends.
"The US Embassy in Canberra and US Consulate in Melbourne are working closely with local authorities. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance to the families of the victims," an embassy statement said.
The Pilot, Max Quartermain, owner of the charter company Corporate and Leisure Travel.
The plane had taken off from Melbourne's second-biggest airport at Essendon for a golfing trip to King Island, 255 kilometres (160 miles) to the south, officials said.
The suffered engine failure and crashed into the mall near the end of the runway at Essendon Airport, Stephen Leane, a Victoria state police assistant commissioner, told reporters in Melbourne.