Five people have died after a plane crashed into an Australian shopping centre and exploded into a "fireball".
Dramatic images showed the small charter flight burst into flames as it struck the DFO shopping complex in the north-west of the city.
Plumes of thick, black smoke were also seen billowing from the crash site.
No one on the ground was killed or injured, officials confirmed.
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews branded the crash the state’s worst civilian accident in 30 years.
He told the BBC: “Today is a desperately sad day.”
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will launch an investigation into the crash, involving a twin-engine Beechcraft B200 King Air, which happened just after 9am local time on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Spotlight, a retailer in the complex, said the plane crashed into its rear warehouse but all staff were safe.
The shopping centre was not open to the public at the time.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said: “Looking at the fireball, it is incredibly lucky that no-one was at the back of those stores or in the car park of the stores, that no-one was even hurt.”
The US embassy has confirmed that four passengers on the plane, bound for Tasmania's King Island, were US citizens.
The pilot has been named by Australian media as 63-year-old Max Quartermain.
Essendon Airport, which is mostly used by light planes, is situated around 8 miles north-west of central Melbourne, has been closed.