Four people have died after a twin-engined Piper Seminole and a Beechcraft D95A Travel Air collided mid-air near Mangalore Airport in Victoria.
Emergency services were called to two separate crash sites at 11:30am on Wednesday and found all bodies, which have yet to be identified, in the wreckage.
Channel Nine journalist Tony Jones told Melbourne radio 3AW it was, “quite a grim scene”.
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The Piper Seminole took off from Mangalore Airport minutes before the crash, while the Beechcraft Travel Air had flown in from the Mornington Peninsula.
Mangalore is open to recreational flyers, learners and is also used by government departments. The Piper Seminole is reported to have been registered to flight school Moorabbin Aviation Services.
“It is believed two aircraft have collided mid-air before crashing,” Victoria Police said in a statement. “Two occupants in each aircraft have died at the scenes.”
Inspector Peter Koger added that the incident was “devastating” for both victims and first responders.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will soon examine the wreckage, flight data and weather conditions to determine what happened, and has appealed for any witnesses who may have recorded the incident on their car’s dash cam to come forward.
Breaking: Several people are feared dead after two planes were involved in a crash at Mangalore, two hours north of Melbourne. https://t.co/KAwAjl6NGJ
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CASA and the ATSB have been notified, while police will prepare a report for the coroner.