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Deaths feared in crash north of Melbourne


Four people are dead after two planes collided mid-air before crashing into a paddock north of Melbourne this morning.

The two planes crashed at about 4000ft above sea level, at the popular recreational flying spot of Mangalore.

“Two occupants in each aircraft have died at the scenes,” Victoria Police said in a statement.

All four people are yet to be formally identified.

Police and paramedics responded to reports of the light plane crash, 120km north of Melbourne, at about 11:30am.

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“Police are currently attending in the vicinity of Mangalore following an aircraft incident,” said a Victoria Police spokeswoman.

“The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are yet to be confirmed and more information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.”

The crash site is about seven kilometres south of Mangalore’s busy airport, where there is a major aviation-training facility and pilot academy.

The crash site is about seven kilometres south of the flight training school.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) confirmed that one of the plane was a Piper-Seminole aircraft operated by flying school Moorabbin Aviation Services.

The other was a Beechcraft Travel Air.

Channel 9 reporter Tony Jones, who was at the scene, said he could see one of the planes and the damage looked serious.

“It doesn’t look good, I’m afraid,” Mr Jones told Neil Mitchell.

“It has broken up, a number of parts of that plane … have broken free from the actual aircraft.”

The condition of the pilot is unknown.

The Country Fire Authority has confirmed a second plane was also involved in the collision.

It was found by emergency crews in Avenel, near Seymour.

All southbound lanes on the Hume Freeway have been closed at Avenel.



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