Five people die in Maltese plane crash
Five people have died after a light aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff at Malta International Airport.
An airport source said the five victims were all French, although it is not yet clear if they were members of the military or civilians.
In a statement, the airport said the aircraft, a Fairchild Metroliner turboprop, was involved in an accident “upon takeoff.”
“We can confirm that the five crew on board are deceased,” it said, adding that the airport was closed until further notice and an investigation was under way.
Initial reports had said the plane was deployed by Frontex, the EU’s border agency, but a spokesperson has said this is not the case.
The Times of Malta reported the plane had been leased from Luxembourg for use by officials from Frontex.
The organisation has also said that none of their staff were involved in the crash.
Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy and vice president of the EU Commission, also tweeted saying no EU officials were involved in the crash.
The crash, Malta’s worst peacetime aircraft accident, happened at about 6.30am, as the plane was heading for Misrata in Libya, officials said.