Europe

Belgium plane crash closes Charleroi airport

  • 9 February 2013
  • From the section Europe

Five people have been killed in a plane crash at Charleroi airport in Belgium, officials say.

The small Cessna aircraft suffered difficulties on take-off and crashed on the edge of the runway.

Officials said operations had been suspended at the airport, which is a hub for low-cost carriers such as Ryanair.

The officials said they hoped operations would resume in the afternoon but could give no timetable.

The twisted wreckage of the plane could be seen on the runway, with little but the rear section intact.

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Airport spokeswoman Melissa Milioto said: "There was a problem on take-off and they tried to come back, but unfortunately the plane crashed."

She added: "Our priority is dealing with this drama. Flights are being diverted to Liege and Brussels."

Belgian media reported that the five people on board were from the same family - three young children, their mother and grandfather.

They were said to be Belgian nationals from Uccle.

On his Twitter account, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims.

Flying conditions at the time were reported to be poor, with freezing fog causing difficulties.

Charleroi is Belgium's second international airport after Zaventem in Brussels, and is busy with half-term travel.

On its website, Ryanair listed five flight cancellations for Saturday - all flying out of Charleroi.