Sharjah: Six people have been killed after a cargo plane crashed on take-off from Sharjah Airport.

The Sudanese registered plane veered sharply to the right after take-off and flipped before crashing.

A Boeing 707, aircraft, carrying general cargo, bound for Khartoum, crashed two minutes after take-off, which was at 3.29pm, from Sharjah International Airport, according to the Sharjah airport authorities.

The flight was operated by Sudan Air and the aircraft owned by ‘Azza Air’.

Audio: Eyewitness describes the plane struggling to gain altitude
Audio: Ali Al Midfaa' from Sharjah Airport explains why the runway was closed

All six Sudanese nationals on board the plane died in the crash, Issam Awadh Mitwally, Sudanese Consul General, said.

The Flight No: SB2241 crashed killing all onboard and six bodies have been removed from the crash site and taken to Sharjah Forensic Laboratory, the consul general said.

The aircraft crashed in a deserted area near the airport and there were no other fatalities on ground, said the officials.

The black box of the aircraft has been recovered and taken for examination, consul general said.

Sharjah Airport has closed its runway as a result of the crash and was reopened after two hours, an airport official said.

Among the six dead is the plane's captain Mohammad Ali and Mohammad Al Fatih, an engineer, according to Sharjah authorities.

The crash call came around 3.30pm and the fire was put out in two hours, Wahid Al Serkal, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence said.

Ajman Civil Defence also helped the Sharjah team, Al Serkal said.

"The place is contained. All the fires are extinguished," Khaled Al Qassimi, director of civil aviation at Sharjah airport, said. "We are the picking up bits and pieces for the investigation."

Eyewitnesses have reported seeing the plane "flip and burst into flames."
Artem Filippov who works at the Sharjah Airport Free Zone said: "We heard an explosion and went out to check what happened and saw plumes of smoke rising. By the time we reached near the accident area police cordoned off the area."

Nagesh Vallabhan, an employee in a company at Sharjah Airport Free Zone, said: "It was obvious the plane was about to crash and it did. The plane was tilted to the right - it looked like it was unbalanced and about to crash and in a few minutes it crashed to the ground and exploded.

"We saw flames of fire and smoke … it exploded with debris seen around the area of the crash. I am not sure but I don’t think anyone survived the crash. I honestly doubt it,” he added.

More than 1,000 Boeing 707s were built, but its heyday was in the 1960s and 1970s and only around 60 of them remain operational today.


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