6 June 2024

A light plane crashed into a four-lane road near Malaysia’s capital on Thursday, killing eight people on board and two motorists on the ground, the local police chief said.

The plane exploded into a fireball on impact, with thick black smoke seen rising from the site, video clips from the scene showed.

“For now, I can say at least 10 people were killed in the plane crash. Two passing motorists — one in a car and one on a motorcycle — also perished together with the eight on board the plane,” Mohamad Iqbal Ibrahim told AFP.

Johari Harun, a state assemblyman in central Pahang state in charge of housing and the environment, was among the plane passengers killed, police said.

Malaysia’s civil aviation authority said in a statement that six passengers and two flight crew were on board the Beechcraft Model 390 aircraft when it crashed.

Photo : AFP

The plane took off from the northern resort island of Langkawi and was approaching Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, in Selangor state west of the capital Kuala Lumpur, civil aviation authority chief Norazman Mahmud.

“No mayday call was made,” he said.

Photo : AFP

An investigation into the crash will be made by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau, he said.

Mohamad Syahmie Mohamad Hashim, a former member of the Malaysian air force, said he saw the plane flying erratically.

“Not long after that I heard a loud boom,” he told reporters.

“I sped towards the location and saw the remains of an aircraft. I also saw (a) human body on fire. I couldn’t do anything,” he said.

– ‘Veered off flight path’ –

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the plane had been cleared to land but “veered to the right of the landing flight path” before it crashed.

He said the main mission for investigators would be to find the plane’s black box containing its flight data.

“For now we cannot say what was the cause of the crash since investigations are underway. We do not want to make any speculation at the moment,” he told a news conference.

“Forensic officials are identifying the remains of all the victims.”

Witnesses said the plane burst into flames as it hit the road leading to an expressway in Elmina Estate near the suburb of Shah Alam, which houses a mix of residential homes and factories. An explosion was also heard, they said.

One user of X, formerly called Twitter, shared a brief video showing fire and black smoke billowing from the crash site, which was covered with dark soot.

Debris was scattered around and houses could be seen in the background.

Photo : AFP

Another video taken by a motorist’s dashcam circulating on social media showed a fireball erupting as the plane slammed into the ground.

In September 1977, a Japan Airlines plane bound for Singapore crashed near the site of Thursday’s disaster. Forty-five people survived and 34 were killed.

By Agence France Presse