A passenger aircraft travelling towards the city of Misrata in Libyacrashed in a huge Explosionearlier this morning, killing all five passengers on board.

Witnesses said they saw the "plane rise before banking to the right and going straight into the ground."

The plane was a twin-propeller Metroliner, according to the Times of Malta, that can carry up to10 passengers.

Videos recorded by citizens shows the plane plummeting to the ground on its side, scarcelymissing nearby houses and buildings, before going up into flames and causing two huge explosions in pit of thick, black smoke.

Confirmation from Malta International Airport

Malta International Airport has confirmed that all five passengers on board are deceased. In a statement on its website, the airport says the plane crashed at 7.20 am local time Monday morning:

"Our thoughts are with the families of the people involved in the accident today.An investigation is currently ongoing and we are working with all the authorities to provide them with any assistance necessary."

Earlier reports claimed that EU officials were on board the plane but the EU Foreign Affairs Chief, Federica Mogherini tweeted to confirmno EU officials were involved in the Crash. The identity of the victims is yet to be established.

Witness accounts

Edward De Gaetano, an actor, was on the flight waiting to take off for London when he first hand witnessedthe crash.

He told The Independent: “We were about to take off, moments before we did from our windows we could see a massive explosion - at first we had no idea what caused it.We quickly realised an aircraft had crash landed. That is when everyone got a bit anxious.”

Mr De Gaetano added: “There was a second explosion and I thought 'oh my god this is not just a fire'.

We are all a bit stunned.”

Airport announces reopening

Malta International Airporthas confirmedthat the aerodrome has beenreopened, albeit on 'operational slowdown,' to allow flights to land and take off:

"Whileweapologizefor the inconvenience caused, we would like to advise passengers that while operations have been resumed, it will take some time for today's schedule to come back tonormalsince many flights have been delayed / diverted,"itstated onitswebsite.

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