By Libya Herald correspondent.
Malta, 24 October 2016:
Five people, all French, have died when a small plane said to be heading to Misrata crashed on takeoff at Malta’s Luqa Airport around 7.20am this morning. There were no survivors.
The five are reported as members of a French customs surveillance team which according to a Maltese government statement “had been taking place for the past five months.”
The team were tracing illegal trafficking “of all sorts, including human and drug trafficking,” according to the statement.
According to the Times of Malta, an eyewitness said that the plane, a twin-prop Metroliner leased from Luxembourg, took off and then suddenly tipped onto its right side “and went straight down into the ground” near the runway. It then burst into flames.
The airport which was initially closed with flights diverted to Sicily, has since reopened.