Ten killed after private jet crashes on a highway in Malaysia

Plane was heading from northern Langkawi island to the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport near Kuala Lumpur.

Ten people have been killed after a small private aircraft crashed on a highway on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

All eight people on board were killed as well as two on the ground when the jet crashed into a motorbike and a car on Thursday afternoon while attempting to land.

The Beechcraft Model 390 (Premier 1) aircraft, a light private chartered plane, was carrying six passengers and two crew members when it crashed near Elmina township, just before it was due to land, Selangor police chief Hussein Omar Khan told reporters.

The drivers of a motorcycle and a car that were hit by the plane, which had lost contact with the air traffic control tower, also died, he said.

“There was no emergency call, the aircraft had been given clearance to land,” Khan said.

View of the highway where the plane crashed showing the road cordoned off and scorched black. There are road signs on the left. Police and officials are investigating.
The plane crashed onto a key highway [Hasnoor Hussain/Reuters]

The country’s civil aviation authority, CAAM, said the flight was on its way from the northern island of Langkawi to the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport near Kuala Lumpur.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that just minutes before landing, the plane veered off its flight path and plunged to the ground.

The national Bernama news agency quoted witnesses saying the aeroplane exploded on impact. Videos shared on social media showed a plane nose-diving into the ground in a ball of flames and sending plumes of black smoke into the air.

Police announced later that the black box cockpit voice recorder had been recovered.

Among the dead was 53-year-old Johari Harun, a senior politician in the government of the central state of Pahang. His aide was also killed.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim sent his condolences to the families of the dead.

The plane crash on Thursday was the second in the area.

A member of the fire and rescue department inspect the crash site of a small plane in Shah Alam district, Malaysia
A member of the fire and rescue department inspects the crash site just outside Kuala Lumpur [Vincent Thian/AP Photo]

In September 1977, a Japan Airlines plane bound for Singapore crashed near the site. Forty-five people survived and 34 were killed.

Politicians and business people often use private jets and helicopters to travel around Malaysia.

In 2015, Jamaluddin Jarjis, a member of parliament, former cabinet minister and Malaysian Ambassador to the United States, was among six people killed when their helicopter crashed in Pahang on its way back to Kuala Lumpur. Then Prime Minister Najib Razak’s principal private secretary also died.

The following year, a deputy minister in Najib’s government was killed in a helicopter crash in the Borneo state of Sarawak.

Bernama said Thursday’s crash was the fifth in Malaysia involving a Beechcraft aircraft since 1977.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies