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Five dead in Belgium plane crash


Five people, including three children, died Saturday when their light plane crashed at Charleroi airport in southern Belgium, forcing its closure for several hours, police said.

The two adults and the children on the Cessna aircraft were from the same family, the police said.

No information was immediately available about who was piloting the aircraft, with police declining to provide any details as an investigation got under way into the cause of the accident.

The Belga news agency said the small, single-engined plane experienced problems on takeoff and returned to the airport but crashed next to the runway as it tried to land.

It said there were no early indications of what caused the crash at around 10:00 am (0900 GMT).

Charleroi, used mainly by low-cost carriers, was closed after the accident, forcing some flight cancellations, diversions and delays, but it reopened in late afternoon, the police said.

Reports said Charleroi airport would normally have operated nearly 50 flights on Saturday, carrying some 17,000 passengers, and television news showed a crowded departure hall.