Five French officials killed as surveillance plane crashes at Malta airport

Physinews:The victims were all French officials and had been on the flight as part of a French Customs surveillance mission, the Maltese government said.
The twin-propeller Fairchild Metroliner exploded into a huge fireball shortly after take-off on Monday morning.

A witness told the Times of Malta the plane suddenly tipped on to its right side "and went straight down into the ground".
Some of the burning wreckage landed on the airport perimeter road. Firefighters were on the scene spraying the area with foam.
The aircraft was heading for Misrata in Libya to monitor migrant and drug trafficking for the French government.
There was no indication of an explosion on board prior to the crash, Malta's government said.

Forensics work on the site of a small plane crash at Malta International Airport 
A forensics team at the site of the crash
Flights to and from Malta International Airport have been halted after the country's worst peacetime aircraft accident.
An eyewitness at the airport, Edward De Gaetano, told Sky News that passengers at the airport had been taken to a safe area.
He said: "We were about to take off, moments before we did from our windows we could see a massive explosion - at first we had no idea what caused it," he said.
"We quickly realised an aircraft carrier had crash landed. That is when everyone got a bit anxious."
He added: "Then there was a second explosion and I thought 'oh my God this is not just a fire'. We are all a bit stunned."
The plane was initially reported to have been leased by Frontex, but a spokesman for the EU border management agency said it was not their plane.
"The plane that crashed in Malta was not deployed by Frontex," the agency tweeted.
Federica Mogherini, a senior EU official, tweeted to say that no EU officials were involved in the crash.
"The flight was not related to any of the EU activities," she added.
In a statement Malta International Airport said: "We can confirm that the five crew on board the aircraft are deceased. Our thoughts are with families of people involved in this accident.
"An investigation is currently ongoing and we are working with all the authorities to provide them with any assistance necessary."
The airport said its aerodrome had been closed in light of the accident and asked passengers to check its website for updates.

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