Eight dead after plane crash in Milan office building | Italy

A small single-engine plane carrying six passengers and a crew of two crashed into the side of an empty two-story office building on the outskirts of Milan, killing everyone on board.

Investigators have opened an investigation into the causes of the crash of the private plane shortly after taking off from Milan Linate airport en route to Olbia airport on the Italian island of Sardinia. A thick column of black smoke rose from the crash site and was visible for miles. Several cars parked nearby caught fire.

Firefighters tweeted that no one other than those on board was involved in the crash early in the afternoon near a metro station in San Donato Milanese, a small town near Milan.

Italian media reported on Sunday evening that the plane was flown by real estate mogul Dan Petrescu, 68, one of Romania’s richest men. He died with his wife Regina Dorotea and their son Dan Stefano, the newspaper Corriere della Sera and the AGI news agency reported. Italian businessman Filippo Nascimbene, his wife Claire Stéphanie Caroline Alexandrescou and their young child were also killed, according to reports.

Petrescu, whose fortune was estimated at 3 billion euros, ran a large construction company and owned a series of hypermarkets and shopping centers. He also had German nationality.

Milan prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano told reporters at the scene that the plane continued to fly up to “a certain point, then an anomaly appeared on the radar screen and it plunged”, hitting the roof of the building.

Control tower officials reported the anomaly, she said, but no further details were immediately provided.

Firefighters work at the plane crash site. Photography: AP

The prosecutor said the plane did not send any alarms. It was too early to name a possible cause for the crash, Siciliano said, adding that the flight recorder had been recovered.

By early evening, only two of the eight dead had been identified as they carried documents with them, Siciliano said. The people on board were “all foreigners”, she said, including the pilot, who was Romanian. The plane was registered in Romania, she added.

Italian reports said the pilot, 30, also had German nationality. The second person identified was a Romanian woman in her sixties who also had French nationality, according to reports.

Reports said the plane flew from Bucharest, Romania, to Milan on September 30 with no apparent problem.

Firefighters work at the plane crash site.
Firefighters work at the plane crash site. Photograph: Xinhua / REX / Shutterstock

Italian news agency Ansa quoted the national aviation safety agency ANSV as saying “the plane hit the building and started to burn”. He said the aircraft was a PC-12, an executive-type single-engine aircraft.

Firefighters said earlier that the plane crashed into the facade of the building. But upon closer inspection, the prosecutor said it was evident the plane had struck the roof.

Firefighters extinguished flames in the severely charred and gutted building, which is said to be undergoing renovations.

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