Five people were killed in the Australian city of Melbourne on Tuesday when a light aircraft veered off and hit a shopping centre in the city.

The incident occurred near the Essendon Fields Airport which was closed when the plane took off. This accident has been described as Melbourne’s worst in three decades.

The plane which flew from Essendon, north of Melbourne, crashed precipitiously near a major motorway packed with heavy traffic. As soon as the plane hit the shopping centre, it erupted into a massive fireball.

“It appears a light plane, which is a charter flight, has impacted the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) at Essendon Fields,” Lisa Neville, police minister, said.

The police said no other fatalities occurred on the ground, but the shopping centre was severely damaged by the blaze.