At least four people have died in a plane crash moments after it’s take off from Abidjan, the capital city of the Ivory Coast.
The 42-year-old aircraft, which was carrying cargo for the French military, crashed into the ocean, with the wreckage ending up on a beach.
According to a local media source, several member’s of the aircraft’s crew survived, however airport management confirmed six of the crewmen were injured, with two of them currently in a serious condition.
— NDTV (@ndtv) October 14, 2017
It’s believed a ten man crew on board the plane took off in heavy rain before crash landing onto the beach.
Witnesses say they saw the aircraft crash moments after taking off, furthermore they claim to have seen four bodies – however authorities have yet to confirm the eye witness accounts.
As reported in The Independent, one eye-witness said:
There was winds yesterday and I saw how planes seemed to have difficulties in getting up
— IFRC Africa (@IFRCAfrica) October 14, 2017
The Independent’s report went on to describe how the tail of the aircraft appeared to have been ‘shorn off from section of the plane where the wings join the fuselage’.
Security guards on the beach site confirmed the plane was carrying cargo for the French Military but it’s unclear how many people were actually on board.
The Security Minister for the Ivory Coast, Sidiki Diakite, confirmed four French citizens were among the injured.
There were also four Moldovans on board, two of which were injured.
— J. Walker (@Walker72John) October 14, 2017
A spokesperson for the French Military, Lt Villain, confirmed the plane was carrying cargo for French forces.
Those injured in the plane crash have been taken to Abidjan’s Port-Bouet camp for treatment.
According to the BBC local police told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the aircraft was trying to land when it crashed onto the beach.
Local news site Ivoire Matin have reported one person has been taken into custody in the aftermath of the crash, however it’s unknown whether he’s part of the crew or not.
There have also been conflicting reports about the aircraft itself – Mail Online has said the aircraft was built in 1975 and is owned by a Moldovan airline company, Valan International Cargo Charter.
This contradicts the BBC’s report from the AFP and French Military saying the plane was a Ukrainian-made Antonov which was chartered by the French army as part of its anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane.