Italy: ‘Eight killed’ as light plane crashes into empty office building in Milan suburb

Italian media say a small private plane has crashed near Milan in northern Italy, killing the seven passengers and the pilot. The plane, a …

Italian media say a small private plane has crashed near Milan in northern Italy, killing the seven passengers and the pilot.

The plane, a Pilatus PC-12, crashed into a vacant two-story office building in the early afternoon in San Donato Milanese, a town of about 30,000 people southeast of the Lombard capital.

The LaPresse news agency and other media said there were eight people on board the flight, including a boy.

State television Rai said the passengers were French. The pilot was a 30-year-old Romanian, Corriere della Sera reported.

Fire officials could not immediately be reached to confirm nationalities or the number of people aboard the plane.

The plane had taken off from Milan’s Linate Airport bound for Olbia, Sardinia, and reportedly crashed and caught fire five minutes after takeoff after slamming into a vacant building that was being renovated.

The office building, which also houses a bus parking lot, is near the San Donato metro station that connects the city to Milan.

“I heard my window panes shaking,” said Giuseppe, a 26-year-old man who lives near the accident site, as quoted by Italian agency AGI. “I opened the window and saw a big column of smoke rising, just like in the movies, and I called for help.”

The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop business jet that can also be used to carry cargo or up to nine passengers.

Italy’s national aviation safety authority has launched an investigation.

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