Essendon Airport crash: ‘Four golf tourists and pilot’ feared dead after light aircraft plunges into shopping centre

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    Four American golfers and their pilot are feared dead after a plane crashed into a shopping centre in Australia.

    The light aircraft plunged into the building shortly after taking off from Essenden Airport in Melbourne at around 9am local time.

    The crash sent a huge ball of black smoke into the air which was visible for miles around.

    Aerial pictures show major damage to the DFO shopping centre which was ablaze.

    The retail centre opens at 10am so was closed to the public at the time.

    There are no reports of injuries to workers.

    The crash has caused major damage to a number of shops near Essendon Airport

    It is believed five people were on board the light aircraft

    A plane wheel can be seen left on a motorway near the scene of the crash

    According to local media, the plane was a flight chartered by four US tourists who were travelling to King Island for a golfing trip.

    It is believed the plane suffered engine failure shortly after take-off.

    The landing wheel could be seen having fallen onto a nearby motorway before the aircraft crashed into the roof of two retail outlets.

    Firefighters at the scene of the tragedy at Essendon Airport, Melbourne

    All five people on board are feared dead

    Daniel May said he was waiting for DFO to open, when he saw the plane come down.

    “I was chatting to my friend waiting for DFO open and then see the low flying plane come in and crash behind one of the stores,” he told Fairfax Media.

    “There was an orange explosion, and then smoke.”

    The crash happened at around 9am before the shopping centre…

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