Five feared dead in Australian plane crash, "ball of flames" witnessed

Flights in and out of Melbourne's main airport were unaffected, while Essendon's airport, which is used mainly by light aircraft, remained closed.

"Dear friends and family, my handsome athletic big brother was killed today in a plane accident while on his 'once in a lifetime" trip to Australia, ' she wrote.

He was the owner of Corporate and Leisure Aviation, and had loaned the plane from MyJet to fly the four men to Tasmania.

Victoria's emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley confirmed the crash had caused an extensive fire at the DFO centre, but said firefighters had managed to contain it.

The pilot was identified as Max Quartermain, who was flying the others to King Island in the Bass Strait off the southern coast of Australia.

"Very coincidentally, a very similar but earlier version Beechcraft King Air crashed on take-off from Sydney Airport on 21st February 1980 (same day, to the day, 37 years ago) with engine failure", he said. "Our hearts & prayers are with the victims and their families". The four passengers were from the United States, while the pilot was Australian.

Greg Reynolds de Haven died in the accident, according to a Facebook tribute posted by his sister Denelle Wicht.

Munsch was a founding partner of an Austin law firm that also has offices in Dallas and Houston, reports said.

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The crash has sparked new questions about the safety of the airport, given how close the shopping centre is to runways.

Another witness, Daniel May, said he was waiting for the shopping centre to open when the plane came down.

Witnesses reported seeing thick black smoke and flames pouring out of the crash site.

"I could feel the heat through the window of the taxi, and then a wheel - it looked like a plane wheel - bounced on the road and hit the front of the taxi as we were driving along".

It gained a slight degree of altitude before crashing into the back of the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) and Focus on Furniture buildings that you see behind me.

Three Hill Country residents died Tuesday morning in a plane crash in Melbourne, Australia.

The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, tweeted his condolences.

  • Marjorie Miles