Light plane crashes into Melbourne shopping centre

UPDATE @ 11.30am: Victoria’s Premier has confirmed “a number of people” have died after a light plane crashed into a shopping centre in Melbourne this morning.

It’s understood five passengers were on board the Beechcraft B200 Super King Air aircraft headed to King Island when it plummeted into the Direct Factory Outlet shopping centre in Essendon around 9.00am.

Dozens of staff were inside the shopping centre at the time of the crash. Miraculously, they all escaped unharmed despite several who have been treated by paramedics for shock.


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While the cause of the crash has not been confirmed, there are reports the plane suffered “catastrophic engine problems” upon take off, with the pilot believed to have made two mayday calls prior to the plane coming down.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the accident is the “worst civil aviation accident that our state has seen in 30 years.”

Both Essendon Airport and DFO have been closed as investigations continue.

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EARLIER @ 8.30am: A private charter plane has crashed into a major shopping centre in Melbourne.

It’s understood five passengers were on board the Beechcraft B200 Super King Air aircraft headed to King Island when it plummeted into the Direct Factory Outlet shopping centre in Essendon around 9.00am.

Dozens of fire and emergency crews responded to the crash, with more than 60 firefighters needed to extinguish the large blaze.

There are reports the plane suffered engine problems upon take off, with the pilot believed to have made two mayday calls before the crash.

The Tullamarine freeway has been closed in both directions with debris from the crash strewn across the road.

Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville says it appears to be a very, very tragic accident.

“It’s too early to know whether there has been fatalities but it appears to be a very, very tragic accident that’s happened out there,” she said.

DFO Essendon have released a statement, confirming the centre will remain closed.

“DFO Essendon is currently closed until further notice, after an incident this morning in which a light plane crashed into the rear of the Homemaker Centre. The Centre was not open at the time,” the centre wrote on Facebook.

“Vicinity Centres is working with Essendon Fields and Victorian emergency services who are currently coordinating and managing the immediate response to this incident, and the centre is currently closed until further notice.

“The thoughts of all at Vicinity Centres are first and foremost for the safety and welfare of those impacted in this incident.

“We aren’t able to confirm if there any injuries or fatalities at this stage.”