Five people have been killed after a plane crashed into a supermarket in Portugal, according to local reports.

The aircraft had just taken off when it "exploded mid-air", according to witnesses, before plunging down into a Lidl supermarket in Tires, near the coastal town of Cascais, 20 miles west of capital city Lisbon.

The plane crash landed on a lorry which was unloading goods in the supermarket car park. As a result, several vehicles are believed to have caught fire. The site of the accident is only 150 metres from a local school.

Black plumes of smoke rose up from the scene of the crash a more than 50 emergency workers rushed to the rescue operation.

One woman said on Twitter: "A plane just fell all around us. I saw the plane going down!!"

"After they called the Fire Department and I think it fell more or less on top of the Lidl."

The five fatalities are reported as the three passengers and the pilot, according to local media station TVi24, who also state that there is a fifth fatality, which was confirmed by the District Relief Operations Command. The pilot was reported to be Swiss while the three passengers were French. ITV reports that a Portuguese truck driver on the ground was also among the victims.

Portugal
Members of civilian protections work where a small airplane crashed, near a supermarket in a residential area outside Lisbon, Portugal 17 April.Reuters