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Plane crashes into Milan building, killing eight

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A small private plane has crashed into an empty building on the outskirts of Milan, northern Italy, killing all eight people onboard, police say.

The plane, which took off from Milan’s Linate city airport on Sunday (local time), was headed for the island of Sardinia, officials said.

The crash occurred just outside a suburban metro station.

People in the area could hear a blast when the plane collided with the two-storey building, which was empty because it was being renovated.

Witnesses said the plane was already on fire when it crashed.

“I heard the sound of a plane above me as if the plane was shutting down its engine,” local man Giuseppe told Reuters news agency.

“Then I heard a very loud explosion, the windows of our house started to shake so I opened the window and saw a huge cloud of smoke rising,” he added.

Flames and smoke shot in the air and vehicles parked along the street caught fire, witnesses said.

Italian media are reporting the pilot was Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu, 68. He died alongside his wife and their son.

Mr Petrescu, a property developer, was one of Romania’s richest men. Besides him, his wife and their 30-year-old son, a child is also reported to be among those killed.

-with AAP