Dubai: Six people were killed on Wednesday when a Sudanese cargo plane crashed while taking off from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the head of the emirate's aviation authority said.
Sheikh Khalid al-Qasimi, Director of the Department of Civil Aviation in Sharjah, said that the Boeing 707, registered in Sudan, had crashed in the desert shortly after taking off from the Sharjah airport.
Al-Qasimi said the plane had arrived in Sharjah from Khartoum earlier Wednesday morning and was returning to Sudan when it crashed.
Sharjah aviation authorities would issue a full statement on the crash later in the day, al-Qasimi said.
Witnesses told the English-language daily Gulf News that they had seen the plane flip and burst into flames. Black smoke could be seen rising from the airport, which closed its runway after the crash.
First Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:24