A small private plane has crashed into an empty building on the outskirts of Milan in northern Italy, killing all eight people on board, according to officials. The plane, which took off from Milan’s Linate city airport on Sunday, was headed for the island of Sardinia, officials said.
The airplane was piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu, according to Italian media. The 68-year-old, one of Romania’s richest men., headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held German nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.
Corriere and the AGI news agency said Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed. Also on the plane with the family were four of their friends, two sisters and a couple with their one-year-old child.
The crash occurred just outside a metro station in the Milan suburb of San Donato. People in the area reported hearing a blast when the plane collided with the two-storey building, which was empty at the time as it was being renovated.
Flames and smoke shot in the air and several vehicles parked along the street caught fire, witnesses said, but no other casualties were reported. The Italian news agency ANSA, quoting the national air safety agency, said the aircraft was a PC-12, a single-engine, executive-type plane.
ANSA also quoted a Milan fire official, Carlo Cardinali, as saying that the aircraft had crashed into the building’s facade. “The impact was devastating,” Cardinali said. The plane’s black box has been recovered, according to Italian media.