10:11, 25 September 2020
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weather

Plane hits Melbourne mall, all on board presumed dead

Five people were believed killed when a light plane crashed into a shopping

mall on Tuesday in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said. The five were on a twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air that crashed about 45 minutes before the Direct Factory Outlet mall in suburban Essendon was to open, Police Minister Lisa Neville said. The victims were believed to be US citizens but the US embassy to Australia would not comment on their nationality, only saying it was working with local authorities. "We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who died in today's tragic crash," an embassy statement said. "We are unable to confirm any details about the nationality or identity of any of the victims. The US embassy in Canberra and the consulate in Melbourne are working closely with local authorities to assist in any way possible," it said. Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane also declined to say whether the four passengers were Americans. The plane had taken off from Melbourne's second-biggest airport at Essendon on a chartered flight to King Island, 255km to the south, officials said. The mall adjoins the airport.