Plane crashes into building near Milan after “anomaly” appears on radar screen

A small single-engine plane carrying six passengers and two crew members crashed into an empty two-story office building on the outskirts of Milan on Sunday, and authorities said all eight people on board died.

Investigators began investigating why the private jet crashed shortly after taking off from Milan’s Linate airport, bound for Olbia airport on the Italian island of Sardinia. A thick column of dark smoke rose from the crash site and was visible several kilometers away. Several cars parked nearby caught fire.

Fire officials said on Twitter that no one other than those on board were injured in the crash, which happened in the early morning hours near a subway station in San Donato Milanesa, a small town near Milan.

Milan prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano told reporters at the scene that the plane continued to fly until “a certain point, then an anomaly appeared on the radar screen and it went down,” hitting the roof of a building.

She said control tower personnel reported the anomaly, but no further details were provided.

The prosecutor said the plane did not sound any alarms. Siciliano said it was too early to name possible causes of the crash, adding that the flight recorder had been recovered.

By early afternoon, only two of the eight dead had been identified because they had documents on them, Siciliano said. All of those on board were “foreigners,” including the pilot, who was Romanian, she said. The plane was registered in Romania, the prosecutor said.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry later reported that two Romanians with dual citizenship were among the dead.

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

The reports said the plane flew from Bucharest, Romania, to Milan on Sept. 30 with no apparent problems.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted the national flight safety agency ANSV as saying that “the plane crashed into a building and began to burn.” It said the plane was a PC-12, a single-engine executive aircraft.

Fire officials had previously stated that the plane had crashed into the facade of the building. But after further inspection, the prosecutor said the plane crashed into the roof.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in the building, which was reportedly under renovation.

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