Europe

French plane crashes in Malta

Five dead, the plane was part of French customs surveillance operation

Malta’s government announced all five victims that died in the plane crash this morning at 720am; was French and that the flight was part of a French customs surveillance operation following routes of illicit trafficking, of humans and drugs, leaving Libya’s criminal coasts.

The plane classified as a Twin-prop Fairchild Metroliner, crashed soon after takeoff, in Luqa, Malt. An observer told the Times of Malta they saw the plane abruptly tip onto its right side before it “went straight down into the ground.”

Libya is the main point of departure for tens of thousands of migrants who have been funding smugglers to bring them toward Europe by boats. According to French media, three of the victims were French Defence Ministry officials, with the other two being private contractors.

Aviation authorities say the reason of the crash could be mechanical.

The airport was closed for four hours while debris was cleaned, delaying more than a dozen flights, according to a notice on the airport website.

Malta’s international airport is employed for surveillance flights to Libya due to its closeness. The government said the French customs operation had been active for about five months.

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