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A small, single-engine plane carrying six passengers and two crew crashed into an empty two-story office building in the Milan suburb on Sunday, and officials said all eight people were killed.

Investigators began an investigation into what caused the private plane to crash shortly after takeoff from Milan’s Linate airport on its way to Olbia airport on the Italian island of Sardinia. A thick column of black smoke rose from the crash site and was visible for miles. Several cars parked nearby caught fire.


Firefighters tweeted that no one else was injured in the crash near a metro station in the small town of San Donato Milanese, a small town near Milan, in the early hours of the afternoon.

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Milan prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano told reporters at the scene that the plane was “proceeding on its flight up to a certain point, then an anomaly appeared on the radar screen and collided with the roof of the building.”

Control tower officials reported the discrepancy, she said, but further details on that were not immediately provided.

The prosecutor said the plane did not send an alarm. It is too early to cite any possible cause of the crash, Siciliano said, adding that the flight recorder has been retrieved.

Siciliano said that by evening, only two of the eight dead had been identified, as they had documents. There were “all foreigners” on board, she said, including the pilot, who was Romanian. The prosecutor said the plane was registered in Romania.

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Later, the Romanian Foreign Ministry said that two Romanians with dual citizenship were among the dead.

Italian news reports said the 30-year-old pilot also had German citizenship. The report said the second victim was a 60-year-old Romanian woman who also had French citizenship.

Reports said the plane took off from Bucharest, Romania, to Milan on 30 September with no apparent problems.

“The plane hit the building and started burning,” Italian news agency ANSA quoted the national air security agency ANSV as saying. It stated that the aircraft was a PC-12, a single-engine, executive-type aircraft.

Fire officials had earlier said the plane hit the front of the building. But after further investigation, the prosecutor said it was clear that the plane hit the ceiling.

Firefighters put out the fire in the badly burnt and burnt building, which was reportedly being renovated.