Five people, four of whom have been confirmed by the Herald Sun to be American golf tourists, have been killed in a light plane crash at Essendon after a chartered flight to King Island plummeted into a DFO shopping centre about 9am.
Reports say the light plane took off from runway 17 at Essendon airport around 9am, rising to about 30 metres before veering left and making two mayday calls before crashing. Investigators suspected “catastrophic engine failure” was the cause of what Premier Daniel Andrews described as the state’s “worst plane disaster in 30 years”.
— 3AW Melbourne (@3AW693) February 20, 2017
The plane was a Beechcraft King Air chartered to carry five golfers to King Island, although this remains unconfirmed following a story in the Sydney Morning Herald that ran comments from various dumbfounded King Island golf figures.
A spokeswoman at Cape Wickham Links told Fairfax Media all golfers they were expecting for that day had arrived, while general manager of Ocean Dunes, Nelson Da Silva, also told Fairfax he expects 60 golfers to arrive everyday and he believed everyone who was expected had arrived on Tuesday.
“All our golfers have arrived today… I don’t know who was on the flight,” Da Silva told SMH.
The SMH also reported that King Island Golf & Bowling Club manager Mark Patterson said he had no bookings for the day.
“They weren’t coming here,” Patterson said.
— Daily Mail Australia (@DailyMailAU) February 20, 2017