“Like An Atomic Bomb”: JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys Staff Evacuated After Air Crash Five Dead
Staff at JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys in Essendon, have been evacuated and air-traffic halted after a plane crash-landed into Essendon Fields DFO, where both stores are located.
At this stage, five people have been confirmed as having died in the crash.
A staff member from The Good Guys said that the crash was “like an atomic bomb” going off.
“A number of people have died as a result of what is the worst civil aviation accident that our state has seen for 30 years,” assistant police commissioner Stephen Leane said.
“The advice we have is no fatalities other than the aircraft itself.
There were five people on the aeroplane, and at this stage it looks like nobody has survived the crash.”
Emergency Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley advised both the airport and outbound lanes on the Tullaramarine Freeway have been closed while evidence is collected.
ChannelNews understands that the plane, carrying four passengers and its pilot, encountered engine troubles shortly after take-off.
Reports say the pilot was able to make a mayday call before the plane lost power and nosedived into the rear of the shopping center.
Witnesses at the scene say the plane tore through Focus on Furniture and JB Hi-Fi outlets on impact before finally exploding in the Spotlight outlet.
Despite this spectacle and significant damage to the building and carpark, no one outside the aircraft was killed.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Good Guys employee Ash Mayer described the explosion after the crash as “like an atomic bomb”.
“We didn’t see the plane come down but we felt the explosion, we felt the shockwave from it,” Mr Mayer said.
“The first thing we thought was someone let off a bomb in one of the bins … the one of the boys ran over and said it’s a plane, it’s a plane, a plane’s gone down.”
Angelo, who works nearby, told Channel 7 he grabbed a fire extinguisher but couldn’t get close enough to help.
“It just happened so quick,” he said.
ChannelNews has reached out to JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys to confirm the safety of staff working on-site.
Investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau are said to be en route to the scene of the crash.