Five Killed as Plane Crashes in Lidl Car Park

Five people were killed in Portugal after a Swiss-registered light aircraft crashed on a lorry unloading outside a Lidl supermarket less than 500 feet from a primary school. The pilot died along with his three passengers and a Portuguese man on the ground thought to be the truck driver. Three other people were slightly injured.

Witnesses reported seeing the craft seemingly explode mid-air before going down in the Lidl carpark where it is said to have landed on a lorry that was unloading supermarket stock. Four people inside the supermarket doing their shopping at the time were also treated for shock and smoke inhalation.

Three of the dead were French citizens and one Swiss, reports say. The plane had been travelling to Marseille, France. The Swiss-registered plane crashed shortly after a noon takeoff from the small Tires airfield, 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the Portuguese capital, Cruz said. Officials said the crash happened amid clear skies and a light wind.

Plane crashes in Lidl car park Lidl car park

The Tires airfield said the plane was a twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft. The airfield was closed as authorities opened an investigation.

The truck driver was offloading his cargo at the supermarket's rear cargo bay, about 2 kilometers (just over 1 mile) from the runway, when the plane crashed near him. His truck was set ablaze.

About 90 firefighters mobilised to fight a blaze, which was quickly put out. A neighbouring house was also damaged. The aerodrome issued a statement saying that the plane belonged to Symbios Orthopaedics, a company based near Lausanne, Switzerland that specialises in orthopaedic prosthetics.

The plane had taken off from Tires aerodrome - which is used mainly by private aircraft and situated about 12m (20km) west of the Portuguese capital - shortly before the crash.

The cause of the accident is not yet known.