One dead and three injured as planes collide near Montreal: minister

Two small planes collided over a bustling Quebec shopping mall on Friday, killing one person and injuring three others.

The numbers were confirmed by Premier Philippe Couillard and Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux as they attended an event in Montreal.

The identity of the victim and the conditions of the injured were not clear.

Earlier, Longueuil police said each plane only had a pilot on board and that both were injured.

One of the planes crashed on the roof of the Promenades Saint-Bruno, while the other slammed into the parking lot.

A security perimeter was set up near the shopping centre in Saint-Bruno, about 25 kilometres from Montreal.

Witnesses at the scene described hearing a loud bang.

Nheil Martinez, who works inside the mall, was outside smoking a cigarette when he saw the shadow of a plane and heard its motor.

``I heard the motor so low to the ground and then a loud boom,'' he said.

``Then we saw pieces of plane fall out of the sky everywhere.''

Martinez said he ran to the plane and saw a man inside, whose body was crushed.

Jonathan Vanasse was eating inside a mall restaurant next to the crash site.

He said he and several others ran outside and saw the plane, which he said was leaking fuel.

``There was just shredded metal,'' he said, referring to what was left of the aircraft.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada announced it was deploying a team of investigators to the site.

The TSB said in a statement both planes were Cessna 152 aircraft operated by Cargair.

Cargair is a pilot-training academy based in nearby Longueuil.