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.
UPDATE: No Frontex staff was involved in the plane crash in Malta.
— Frontex (@Frontex) October 24, 2016
Not leased by Frontex, thanks Gd
Watch: Five dead as plane crashes in Luqa https://t.co/wSvK13uq1Q
— Małgosia Krakowska (@gosiakrakowska) October 24, 2016
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.
— Federica Mogherini (@FedericaMog) October 24, 2016
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.”
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 24, 2016
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.
Plane crash: Psychological support helpline 25456900; Psychological walk in service available at Paola Health Centre
— Chris Fearne (@chrisfearne) October 24, 2016