28 Nov 2010

Eight killed in Karachi cargo plane crash

2:47 pm on 28 November 2010

A cargo plane has crashed in flames shortly after taking off from the Pakistani city of Karachi, killing all eight people on board.

The aircraft, said to be Russian-built with a Russian crew, hit a residential area used by the Pakistani armed forces, close to the airport.

The crash started a huge blaze at a building under construction in a military complex for Pakistan's air force and navy. Unconfirmed reports received by the BBC say two construction workers on the ground also died in the crash.

Witnesses say they saw one of its engines on fire, which suggests that the cause of the crash may have been a mechanical failure.

A BBC correspondent says that the blaze - which was fuelled by thousands of gallons of petrol - is now under control.

The explosion caused by the crash was so powerful that local residents thought it was triggered by a bomb said Karachi's police chief.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, and an investigation is now under way.

The plane was carrying relief aid to Sudan.