The death toll could have been much worse after a small plane crashed into a construction site in the densely populated Mumbai suburb of Ghatkopar yesterday.
Video of the crash captured by bystanders circulated on Twitter
The plane’s two pilots and two maintenance engineers on board were killed, as was an adult male in the vicinity, reported to be on a bicycle, when the plane came down on its way to land at Mumbai airport at approximately 1.15pm, causing an explosion and fireball.
The female pilot has been praised for aiming the craft at the construction site, where towers are being built, thus avoiding numerous high-rise residential buildings in the area.
Construction workers numbering around 50 avoided death by leaving the site for lunch minutes before, say reports.
Aviation authorities said the plane, a 12-seater Beechcraft King Air C 90 turboprop, had taken off from the Juhu airstrip on a test flight.
The craft had been sold by the Uttar Pradesh government to a Mumbai aviation company in 2014.
Crowds gathered as firefighters took an hour to douse the flames fed by aviation fuel.
The black box of the aircraft has been recovered, with authorities having begun a probe into the cause of the crash.