Dan Petrescu: Romanian billionaire piloting private plane crashes into building in Milan, eight dead

A private plane has crashed into an empty building on the outskirts of Milan in northern Italy, killing all eight people on board.

The small plane took off from Milan’s Linate city airport on Sunday, was headed for the island of Sardinia, officials said.

It was piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu, according to Italian media.

The 68-year-old was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, also died. The other passengers included four of their friends, two sisters and a couple with their one-year-old child.

The crash occurred just outside a metro station in the Milan suburb of San Donato.

People in the area reported hearing a blast when the plane collided with the two-storey building, which was empty at the time as it was being renovated.

Flames and smoke shot in the air and several vehicles parked along the street caught fire, witnesses said, but no other casualties were reported.

The aircraft was a PC-12, a single-engine, executive-type plane.

Italian news agency ANSA, quoted a Milan fire official, Carlo Cardinali, as saying that the aircraft had crashed into the building’s facade.

“The impact was devastating,” Cardinali said.

Italian media reported that the plane’s black box was recovered.