Israeli man killed in mid-air plane collision in Australia
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Israeli man killed in mid-air plane collision in Australia

Four people die in crash north of Melbourne, with local police investigating circumstances and Israel’s Foreign Ministry working to repatriate body

One of two small plane that crashed February 19, 2020, in Mangalore, north of Melbourne, Australia. (Screenshot: Twitter)
One of two small plane that crashed February 19, 2020, in Mangalore, north of Melbourne, Australia. (Screenshot: Twitter)

Four people, among them an Israeli man, were killed in a mid-air collision between two light planes in Australia on Wednesday, scattering debris across a rural area north of Melbourne.

Police said the two twin-engined aircraft were each carrying a pilot and a passenger when they crashed around 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) above the town of Mangalore.

Images from the crash scene on the ground showed twisted metal and chunks of fuselage scattered in a field and among trees. The accident took place in conditions of dense fog, according to Australian media.

One of those killed is an Israeli citizen, the Foreign Ministry confirmed, without naming the man.

The ministry was dealing with the case together with Israel’s consul in Canberra, it said.

“We share the family’s grief in this tough time and are helping with matters relating to flying the [body] to Israel for burial,” the ministry said.

Local police said both planes had been flying legally in the area but investigations were ongoing.

“We’re not sure why both aircraft were exactly on the same trajectory or why they were in that area but unfortunately they have collided mid-air,” Police Inspector Peter Koger said.

One aircraft had just taken off from the nearby airfield but the other plane’s origin was still unclear, he added.

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