5 dead as small plane crashes into supermarket in Portugal

LISBON, Portugal
Published 17.04.2017 20:18
5 dead as small plane crashes into supermarket in Portugal

A small plane crashed Monday beside a supermarket near Lisbon, killing four people on board the aircraft and one on the ground. Four people were slightly injured, emergency services said.

The dead included the Swiss pilot, three French passengers on the plane and a Portuguese truck driver, emergency services operational commander Miguel Cruz told The Associated Press.

The Swiss-registered plane crashed shortly after a noon takeoff from the small Tires airfield, 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the Portuguese capital, Cruz said. Officials said the crash happened amid clear skies and a light wind.

The Tires airfield said the plane was a twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft. The airfield was closed as authorities opened an investigation.

The truck driver was offloading his cargo at the supermarket's rear cargo bay, about 2 kilometers (just over 1 mile) from the runway, when the plane crashed near him. His truck was set ablaze.

Authorities declined to identify those killed in the plane until their identities could be compared with the flight plan.

The injured were shopping inside the supermarket and were treated for shock and smoke inhalation. The crash occurred about 150 meters (yards) from an elementary school.

About three dozen firefighting vehicles rushed to the scene, arriving within six minutes, according to officials. Nearby houses were blackened by smoke, with nine people forced to evacuate their homes.

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