A small plane carrying eight people crashed into a residential area of Colombia’s second-largest city Medellin, killing all on board, airport authorities have said.
The aircraft took off from the Olaya Herrera airport on Monday morning and reported an engine failure before crashing into a house, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air.
The airport’s Twitter account reported that the eight people in the plane — six passengers and two crew — had been reported as “fatalities”.
“There has been a plane accident in the Belen Rosales sector. The full capacity of government has been activated to assist the victims,” Mayor Daniel Quintero wrote on Twitter.
He said the plane was a twin-engine Piper heading from Medellin to the municipality of Pizarro in the neighboring district of El Choco.
The plane “signalled engine failure on takeoff and did not manage to return to the Olaya Herrera airport”, one of two in Medellin.
The aircraft crashed into a house, destroying its upper floors, according to images shared by the emergency services. Firefighters were working to douse flames amid scattered tiles and collapsed brick walls.
“There are seven homes heavily affected and there is damage to six buildings,” Quintero said. “Fortunately, at that particular moment, there was no one in the house that was hit the hardest.”
”Doña Astrid was saved because she had just left,” said the mayor about one of the inhabitants of the house where the plane crashed.
Medellin lies in a narrow valley, surrounded by the Andes mountains.
In 2016, a plane carrying Brazil’s Chapecoense football team ran out of fuel and crashed in the mountains near the city, killing 71 of the 77 people on board, including 16 players.