Five killed as plane crashes in Louisiana post office car park

Small aircraft goes down shortly after take off from Lafayette Regional Airport

The two-engine Piper Cheyenne crashed about one mile from the Lafayette Regional Airport. Image: Google Maps

The two-engine Piper Cheyenne crashed about one mile from the Lafayette Regional Airport. Image: Google Maps

 

A small plane crashed into the car park of a post office in Louisiana shortly after take-off, killing five people, authorities said.

The two-engine Piper Cheyenne crashed about one mile from the Lafayette Regional Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said.

The plane was en route to Atlanta, said Lafayette Fire Department spokesman Alton Trahan.

Video and photos showed a trail of scorched and burning grass around the crash site in the city of Lafayette. A burnt-out car sat in the post office parking area, which was carpeted with scattered tree limbs.

Four people were taken to hospital: one from the plane, one on the ground and two post office employees who were brought in for evaluation, Mr Trahan said.

The aircraft was an eight-passenger plane, Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit told KLFY-TV.

The plane went down in a part of the city with a scattering of banks, fast food chains and other businesses.

Marty Brady (22) said the lights went out at his apartment a couple of hundred yards or so away from the crash site as he was preparing to make coffee.

He said he ran out and saw black smoke and flames from the post office car park and downed power lines.

“There were some people screaming and somebody yelled that it was a plane,” he said.

Mr Brady said the plane clipped a power line over the gate to his apartment complex.

“If it had been a little lower, it could have been a lot worse,” he said. – AP