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Five feared dead in charter plane crash in Australia

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-21 08:58

SYDNEY - Grave fears are held for five people on board a charter plane that crashed into a popular shopping center near the Melbourne airport on Tuesday.

The plane crashed into the Direct Factory Outlet (DFO) shopping center in Essendon at 9 am local time, causing a large explosion at the center.

Five people were on board the Beechcraft B200 Super King Air plane which departed Essendon Airport for King Island, a popular golf and food tourist destination off the north-west coast of Tasmania, shortly before crashing.

"It appears to be a very, very tragic accident that has occurred out there," Lisa Neville, Victoria's police minister, told reporters.

Neville did not confirm any fatalities but News Limited reported it was unlikely there were any survivors.

A total of 13 fire-fighting crews attended the scene to battle the blaze caused by the crash with the nearby Tullamarine freeway closed while the situation was managed.

It is understood that the plane crashed into a warehouse for popular craft sore Spotlight with all staff at the warehouse being accounted for.

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