Five people have lost their lives after their plane crashed into the ground soon after take-off on the limits of Ħal Kirkop. The accident happend at around 7.15am this morning on the road near the premises of the company, Medevia. The Swearingen Merlin plane, a metroliner registered in America, was leaving Malta International Airport.
Video footage taken from a dash cam of a driver on his way to work, shows the exact moment the plane crashed. The plane is seen in the sky for a few seconds before it crashed to the ground and exploded.
Ed De Gaetano, a passenger on a plane which was about to take off from Malta, shows the debris left behind after the plane crashed, and the frightened passengers on board are heard screaming and crying.
Official information, footage and eyewitnesses, including three members of the Armed Forces of Malta at the nearby Safi Barracks, and two commercial airline pilots, clearly indicate that there was no explosion prior to impact. Several inquiries, as established by international rules and the Laws of Malta, are currently underway to establish all facts.
The remains of all five men on board, all French nationals, have been found.
The flight was part of a French Customs surveillance operation which has been taking place for the past five months, with the aim of tracing routes of illicit trafficking of all sorts, including human and drug trafficking amongst others. The said flight was registered with the Malta Air Traffic Services as a local flight and was to return to Malta within hours without landing in third countries.