Businessman, Clemson graduate killed in Australian plane crash

The crash occured shortly after the plane took off from the Essendon Fields airport around 9 a.m. local time (23.00 UTC), causing an explosion and significant damage to the building and surrounding area.

Texan Greg Reynolds De Haven, 70, was among the passengers killed - his sister Denelle Wicht told CNN De Haven had been going on a golf outing with some friends during a three-week trip to Australia.

The day before the fatal plane crash, Mr Garland wrote about the "really tough and windy conditions" at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, followed by "Melbourne is a magnificent and awesome city".

A mayday call was put out as the plane was taking off, and Victoria Police Superintendent Mick Frewen said it appeared to be affected by a "catastrophic engine failure".

It is understood the charter flight was on its way to King Island in Tasmania.

The plane crashed into a shopping mall shortly after takeoff in Melbourne, according to USA Today.

The Essendon Airport said it is now closed "other than for essential emergency services".

He said he was deeply saddened by the tragedy and extended his wishes to the families of those involved.

The Herald Sun confirms Glenn Garland as one of the victims.

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Russell Munsch, also from Texas and a founding partner of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr law firm, was named among the dead by relatives.

The shopping centre is on the edge of Essendon airport.

Police and paramedics rushed to the crash site at Essendon, where firefighters doused the flames.

Through a written statement on its website, DFO said it will remain closed for the day and will "reopen for trade" on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Mr Washburn was an executive at Sammons Enterprises, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States, before retiring several years ago.

Another witness, Daniel May, said he was waiting for the shopping centre to open when the plane came down.

It gained a slight degree of altitude before crashing into the back of the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) and Focus on Furniture buildings that you see behind me.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, whose electorate is nearby, tweeted the scenes from Essendon were "horrific".

The fourth victim's name has not been released.

  • Ismael Montgomery