Juba: A small plane crashed into a lake in the centre of South Sudan killing at least 17 people,  regional official told AFP on Sunday.

The minister of information for the town of Yirol, Taban Abel Aguek, tells The Associated Press that the 19-seater commercial Baby Air plane had been traveling from the capital, Juba.

Officials are investigating the cause of Sunday's crash.

Aguek says the three survivors are a 6-year-old child, an adult man and a foreigner from Europe who is undergoing surgery and in serious condition.

"There were people everywhere," Aguek says of the crash site.

Yirol is in the central part of the civil war-torn East African country.