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Melbourne plane crash news lands in midst of AIME

February 22, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Victoria’s worst civil aviation accident in 30 years, in which four tourists and a pilot died when a plane crashed into a shopping centre in Melbourne yesterday, coincided unfortunately with the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings expo (AIME) in the same city.

A five-person Beechcraft King Air charter plane went down and slammed into a shopping centre near Melbourne’s Essendon Airport. It killed pilot Max Quartermain and a group of American golfers, according to news reports.

Mercifully, the shopping complex was closed when the twin-engined charter aircraft apparently suffered catastrophic engine failure shortly after take-off from Essendon. The pilot made a “Mayday” emergency call shortly before going down at about 9am, ABC News reported.

Television footage from 9News showed the damage

Some of those attending AIME yesterday reported highways being closed by police over the crash, delaying their arrival.

While the tragedy did not affect AIME directly, it was an eerie echo of an incident that happened exactly one year ago today, when a charter bus carrying hosted buyers attending AIME slammed into a light-rail bridge in Melbourne’s south, smashing in the whole front and roof of the bus, trapping four passengers and injuring 11 others. No one died in that crash.

Speaking of yesterday’s plane crash, Victoria’s Police Minister Lisa Neville said the five aboard were travelling to Tasmania’s King Island.

“It appears to be a very, very tragic accident that has occurred out there,” she told ABC News.

The Australian Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) said it had deployed a team of four investigators to the scene to try to work out why the twin-engine Beechcraft B200 King Air crashed.

Local resident Mickey Cahill told ABC News 24 the crash happened under cloudless skies in seemingly good conditions.

Written by Peter Needham at AIME, Melbourne

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