Milan: A private plane crashed into an empty building on the outskirts of Milan, northern Italy, killing all eight people on board, according to a fire department official.
The official in San Donato Milanese, a suburb of the city, told Xinhua news agency that a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft crashed on Sunday into a two-floor building that was being renovated, killing the pilot, co-pilot, and six passengers, including a child.
The pilot was Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu, 68. He died alongside his wife and their son, Italian media say.
The crash set the office block and several parked cars on fire. No-one on the ground was injured.
Andrea Checchi, mayor of San Donato, called the crash "horrifying". According to news reports, none of the victims were Italian.
Shortly after the flight took off from Milan's Linate Airport, the pilot issued a distress call shortly, according to local media reports.
Citing witness accounts, the reports said that the aircraft engine was in flames as it descended, with some pieces of the plane falling off while it was still in air.
Tiziana Siciliano, the public prosecutor in Milan, has announced that the black box, a heavily-protected recording device airplanes are required to carry and that is often a key part of investigations into air disasters, had been safely recovered.
Investigators opened a probe into what caused the private plane to crash shortly after takeoff from Milan's Linate Airport en route to Olbia Airport on the Italian island of Sardinia.