5 killed in when Plain crashes near Malta International Airport, Rome

Rome, October 24: Five persons were killed on Monday when a plane crashed close to Malta International Airport, airport officials said.

A Fairchild Metroliner aeroplane bound for Misrata, Libya, crashed at 7.20 a.m. (local time) shortly after takeoff, EFE news reported.

“We can confirm that the five crew on board the aircraft are dead,” the airport confirmed on its website.

Witnesses described seeing plumes of thick black smoke following the aircraft’s takeoff.

It was reported that the plane was being used by European Union border agency Frontex, but the agency said on Twitter that the aircraft “was not deployed by Frontex” and that “No Frontex staff was involved” in the accident in Malta.

Meanwhile, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini tweeted “No #EU officials involved in plane crash in #Malta. The flight was not related to any of the EU activities” amid reports that EU officials were involved in the crash.

Airport officials said the aerodrome would be closed until further notice and that an investigation was ongoing.