Plane crashes on takeoff at Malta airport, 5 aboard killed

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) – A light plane crashed Monday after takeoff from Malta International Airport en route to Libya, killing all five crew members on board, airport authorities said.

Maltese gov’t says 5 killed in plane crash were French officials tracing Mediterranean trafficking routes from Libya.

The twin-prop Fairchild Metroliner tipped to the right and slammed into the ground soon after lifting off at 7:20 a.m. (0520 GMT), bursting into flames, eyewitnesses said.

Part of the burning wreckage ended up on a road outside the perimeter of the airport.

The airplane was on its way to Misrata, Libya.

Malta International Airport was temporarily closed until the debris is cleared, with over a dozen flights delayed or canceled, according to a notice on the airport website.

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