Plane thought to carry EU officials crashes in Malta, five dead

Plane crash in Malta on 24 October 2016. [Rachel Agius]

Five people died this morning in a plane crash shortly after take-off in Luqa at around 7.20 am today (24 October).

It was initially announced that the twin-prop Metroliner plane was leased from Luxembourg for use by Frontex officials, sources said, with indications that it was heading for Misurata in Libya. Frontex is the EU’s border management agency.

According to further information the plane was not leased by Frontex, but by Luxembourg.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini later tweeted that no EU officials were on board the plane and that the flight was not related to the Union’s activities.

Sources said the plane crashed near the runway soon after take-off and subsequently burst into flames. An eyewitness told Times of Malta they saw the plane take-off and rise before it suddenly tipped onto its right side “and went straight down into the ground.”

In a tweet, Health Minister Chris Fearne said that anyone distressed by news of the crash could call a helpline on 25456900 or visit a psychological walk-in service at Paola health centre.