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Plane crashes after takeoff in Malta, killing all five on board

All five on board the plane headed for Misrata, Libya, have been confirmed dead

Published: Updated:

A light aircraft crashed after taking off from Malta's main airport early on Monday, killing all five people on board, officials there said, in the island nation's worst peacetime air accident.

Airport sources initially said the plane was believed to be carrying officials from European Union border agency Frontex.

But the organization later said none of its staff was involved.

A military source at Malta International Airport said all five victims were French, though the French foreign ministry said it could not yet confirm that.

Television footage showed flames rising from wreckage near the runway, sending thick black smoke into the sky.

Staff said investigations had begun and the aerodrome was closed until further notice. Several flights have been diverted to Sicily, many delayed and some cancelled.

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