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Five people killed in early morning plane crash

(Pic: Ed_deGaetano Twitter)
(Pic: Ed_deGaetano Twitter)

Five people are believed to have been killed after a plane crashed shortly after taking off from a Malta airport.

The tragedy happened at around 7.20am (local time) at a Luqa airport in the island nation.

Early reports indicated that those involved were EU officials, this has since been rebuffed. 

Sources said the plane crashed near the runway soon after take-off and subsequently burst into flames.

One eyewitness told Times of Malta they saw the plane take-off and rise before it suddenly tipped onto its right side "and went straight down into the ground."

The newspaper is reporting the that the twin-prop Metroliner plane was leased from Luxembourg for use by Frontex officials. Frontex is the EU's border management agency.

Early indications are that it was heading for Misurata in Libya