Plane crashes into building near Milan, killing all eight aboard

Firefighters work outside a building whose exterior wall is entirely charred
Firefighters work at the site of the fatal plane crash in a Milan suburb on Sunday.
(Claudio Furlan / LaPresse via AP)

A small, single-engine plane carrying six passengers and two crew crashed Sunday into a vacant two-story office building in a Milan suburb, and authorities said all eight people aboard died.

Investigators opened a probe into what caused the private plane to crash shortly after takeoff from Milan’s Linate Airport en route to Olbia Airport on the Italian island of Sardinia. A thick column of dark smoke rose from the crash site and was visible for kilometers. Several parked cars nearby went up in flames.

Firefighters tweeted that no one else but those on board were hurt in the early afternoon crash near a subway station in the small town of San Donato Milanese.


Milan Prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano told reporters at the scene that the plane was proceeding on its flight until “a certain point, then an anomaly appeared on the radar screen and it plunged,” striking the building’s roof.

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Control tower officials reported the anomaly, she said, but further details on that weren’t immediately given.

The prosecutor said the plane did not send out any alarm, adding that the flight recorder has been retrieved, though it was too early to cite a possible cause for the crash.

By early evening, only two of the eight dead had been identified, from the documents they carried, Siciliano said. Those aboard were “all foreigners,” she said, including the pilot, who was Romanian, and the aircraft was registered in Romania, the prosecutor said.

Later, the Romanian Foreign Ministry said two Romanians with dual citizenship were among the dead.


Italian news reports said the pilot, 30, also had German citizenship. A second victim was a Romanian woman in her 60s who also held French citizenship, the reports said.

The reports said the aircraft had flown from Bucharest, Romania, to Milan on Sept. 30 with no apparent problem.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted the national air safety agency ANSV as saying “the plane hit the building and started burning.” It said the aircraft was a PC-12, a single-engine, executive-type plane.

Firefighters extinguished the flames at the badly charred and gutted building, which reportedly was under renovation.