Speed Reads

Airplane tragedies

Plane crash in Australia kills 4 U.S. tourists, Australian pilot

On Tuesday morning, four American tourists and their Australian pilot were killed when their twin-engine Beechcraft Super King airplane crashed into a shopping mall in suburban Melbourne, right after takeoff. The Direct Factory Outlet mall, adjacent to the airport, was not yet open, and nobody else was injured in the crash, said Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane. "Looking at the fireball, it is incredibly lucky that no one was at the back of those stores or in the car park of the stores, that no one was even hurt."

The four Americans were on their way to a golfing vacation on King Island, 160 miles away. Family members have identified two of the American victims — Greg Reynolds De Haven and Russell Munsch, both from Texas — and the pilot was Max Quartermain, owner of the charter company. Quartermain reported "catastrophic engine failure" right after takeoff, police said. You can view the wreckage in the raw video from The Associated Press below. Peter Weber