One of Romania’s richest men has been killed in a horror plane crash along with his wife, son and five other people on Sunday.
Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu, 68, tragically died alongside his family after a private plane flew into a two-storey office building near a subway station in San Donato Milanese.
The single-engine aircraft went up in flames shortly after it took off from Milan’s Linate Airport as the plane headed towards the Italian island of Sardinia.
Eight people died in the catastrophic crash but only two had been identified by early Sunday evening because they carried documents on them, Italian officials said.
It has been confirmed that six passengers and two crew, who were all “foreigners”, were killed after the plane plunged into the vacant building, reports The Mirror.
Later that day, the Romanian foreign ministry confirmed two Romanians with dual citizenship were among those dead.
According to Italian news reports, the pilot also held citizenship and a second victim was a Romanian woman in her 60s who also held French citizenship.
Rai News said Mr Petrescu, who was a major real estate developer, had dual Romanian and German citizenship, and that he had been piloting the plane at the time of the crash.
Other news platforms have named his son, 30-year-old Dan Petrescu, a dual Romanian and German citizen, as the pilot at the time.
It was also reported that Mr Petrescu’s wife, 65, a dual Romanian and French citizen, also died in the crash along with five unidentified people including a young boy.
Milan Prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano told reporters at the scene that the plane was proceeding on its flight until “a certain point, then an anomaly appeared on the radar screen and it plunged,” striking the building’s roof.
She said the plane did not send out any alarm and noted that it was too early to cite any possible cause for the crash, adding that the flight recorder had been retrieved.
The Petrescu family had been heading to their villa in Olbia where Mr Petrescu’s 98-year-old mother was awaiting them, according to Corriere della Sera.
According to Romanian press, Dan Petrescu, a researcher in Canada, had arrived in Italy with a couple of friends, his one-year-old son and grandmother.
The newspaper said Mr Petrescu purchased the plane in 2015 together with Vova Cohn, a former shareholder of the Dinamo Bucharest football club.
Witnesses described seeing multiple parked cars go up in flames as plumes of smoke shot into the sky following the impact at around 1 pm local time and photos show debris scattered across the scene in the small town.
Emergency crews rushed to the chaotic scene, but none of the passengers could be saved.
Firefighters tweeted on Sunday that no one aside from those aboard were involved and the vehicles which were set ablaze were unoccupied.
A thick column of dark smoke rose from the crash site and was visible for several miles.
“I saw the plane swoop down and then crash there,” said shocked eyewitness, Andrea, aged 19.
The teenager explained how he quickly called his friends after hearing loud noises before seeing pieces of metal spraying across the street.
Carlo Cardinali, an officer of the Milan fire brigade, said: “The plane hit the building on the facade, with an extremely violent impact.
“The pilot made a turn, so he noticed some anomaly.”
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