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A SMALL airplane crashed in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar on Thursday, leaving five dead. The plane crashed into an under-construction building, killing two pilots, two maintenance engineers and one pedestrian.

The plane was sold by the Uttar Pradesh government to Mumbai-based UY aviation company and Thursday was its first flight after repairs.

The disaster could have been much worse, as the crash occurred in the afternoon, just moments after four dozen working in the building stepped out for lunch.

Former civil aviation minister Praful Patel tweeted that the pilot saved many lives at the cost of her own, by swerving to avoid crashing in a busy area. “Saddened to hear about the unfortunate incident at #ghatkopar as Charter plane crashes in an open area. Salute to the pilot who showed presence of mind to avoid a big mishap, saving many lives at the cost of her own life. #RIP to all the 5 Dead. My deepest condolences (sic)” he tweeted.

It is not immediately known what caused the crash. The black box of the aircraft has been recovered and DGCA, the aviation watchdog, has started a probe to find out what caused the crash.