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Plane carrying 5 people hits Australian shopping mall

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By Associated Press

A light plane carrying five people crashed into a shopping mall on Tuesday in the city of Melbourne, officials said.

This image made from video shows the site of a plane crash at Essendon Airport in Melbourne, Australia Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (Channel 9 via AP / MANILA BULLETIN)

This image made from video shows the site of a plane crash at Essendon Airport in Melbourne, Australia Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017.
(Channel 9 via AP / MANILA BULLETIN)

There were no immediate reports of causalities, but the twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air crashed about 45 minutes before the Direct Factory Outlet mall in suburban Essendon was to open, Police Minister Lisa Neville said.

The plane had taken off from Melbourne’s second-biggest airport at Essendon on a chartered flight to King Island, 255 kilometers (160 miles) to the south, Neville said.

The mall adjoins the airport.

Police Superintendent Mick Fruen said a pilot reported a “catastrophic engine failure” moments before the plane crashed into a storage area at the rear of the mall.

Police and paramedics rushed to the crash site, where firefighters doused the flames.

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