By Neil Hartnell
NASSAU Bahamas (Reuters) - A private jet struck a construction crane on approach to Grand Bahama International Airport on Sunday and crashed, killing all nine people aboard, including the leader of the Bahamas Faith Ministries, police and civil aviation officials said.
Pastor Myles Munroe was headed across the island chain from Lynden Pindling International Airport near Nassau, capital of the archipelago nation, to Grand Bahama, where authorities said they believed he was due to host a church conference.
Munroe was accompanied by his wife, Ruth, as well as his Bahamas Faith Ministries deputy, Richard Pinder, another pastor and his family, sources said. All nine passengers and crew perished in the crash, Grand Bahamas police said.
Authorities said the Lear jet exploded on impact with a crane at the Grand Bahama Ship Yard and plunged into a junkyard below as it was making its landing approach for Grand Bahama about 5:10 p.m. EST, roughly an hour after takeoff from Nassau.
The Bahamas Faith Ministries is among the largest religious congregations in the island chain, with thousands of worshipers, and Munroe is a well-known author, leadership consultant and frequent visitor to various African countries.
The Civil Aviation Department said it would launch a full-scale investigation of the crash at daylight on Monday.
(Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Cooney)