Five dead in Belgium plane crash

Five people, including three children, died on Saturday when their light plane crashed at Charleroi airport in southern Belgium, forcing its closure for several hours, police said.

The two adults and the children on the Cessna aircraft were from the same family, the police said.

There was no immediate information available about who was piloting the aircraft.

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The Belga news agency said the plane experienced problems on take-off and returned to the airport but crashed next to the runway as it attempted a landing.

There were no early indications of what caused the crash at around 10:00 am (0900 GMT), it said.

Charleroi airport, used mainly by low-cost carriers, has been closed since the accident, forcing the cancellation of several flights.

Ryanair listed six of its flights as cancelled, while some arriving planes were diverted to Liege in eastern Belgium.

Reports said Charleroi airport would normally have operated nearly 50 flights on Saturday, carrying some 17,000 passengers, and television news showed a crowded departure hall.

On its website, the airport said that "due to a severe incident on the runway, no flights will be operated in the upcoming hours."

Airport officials told local television they hoped the airport could be re-opened later in the day but that while investigators continued their work on the accident, no time could be fixed.

© 2013 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Feb 9, 2013