Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:1PM
Handout photo taken with permission from the Facebook page of Fabio Miguel of smoke rising behind a supermarket near Lisbon after the crash.
Handout photo taken with permission from the Facebook page of Fabio Miguel of smoke rising behind a supermarket near Lisbon after the crash.
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A small plane crashed Monday beside a supermarket near Lisbon, killing four people on board the aircraft and one on the ground. Four people were slightly injured, emergency services said.

The dead included the Swiss pilot, three French passengers on the plane and a Portuguese truck driver, emergency services operational commander Miguel Cruz told The Associated Press.

The Swiss-registered plane crashed shortly after a noon (1100 GMT) takeoff from the small Tires airfield, 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the Portuguese capital, Cruz said. Officials said that the crash happened amid clear skies and a light wind.

"It was around five minutes to midday when I saw an airplane that appeared to be performing aerobatics but it was very close to the houses and I thought it was a bit weird. Suddenly I lost sight of it for just about 4 or 5 seconds and then it exploded, it looked like the missiles in Iraq and Syria," Vitor Ferreira, an eye witness said.

The Tires airfield said the plane was a twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft. The airfield was closed as authorities opened an investigation.

Andre Fernandes, a spokesman for the local emergency services, said the plane was headed for Marseilles in France.

"We can confirm a fifth victim, there are five mortal victims, four from the airplane and one victim that was in the car park," Fernandes said.

The truck driver was offloading his cargo at the supermarket's rear cargo bay, about 2 kilometers (just over 1 mile) from the runway, when the plane crashed near him. His truck was set ablaze.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa went to the site of the crash. There were more than 50 rescue workers at the site.

Authorities declined to identify those killed in the plane until their identities could be compared with the flight manifesto.

The injured were shopping inside the supermarket, which is located in a residential neighborhood, and were treated for shock and smoke inhalation. The crash occurred about 150 meters (yards) from an elementary school.

About three dozen firefighting vehicles rushed to the scene, arriving within six minutes, according to officials. Nearby houses were blackened by smoke, with nine people forced to move out of their homes.

(Source: Agencies)