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13 July 2011

Brazil plane crashes after take-off, 16 dead

An airplane crashed shortly after take-off from Brazil's northeastern city of Recife early on Wednesday, killing all 16 people on board, rescue and air force officials said.

The plane, operated by small regional airline Noar, plunged into scrubland near a highway after taking off at 6:51 am local time for its planned journey to another northeastern city, Natal.

Television images showed the body of the plane smashed into small pieces of debris with only the tail section remaining partly intact.

According to a statement from Brazil's Air Force, the pilot reported mechanical problems shortly after take-off and tried to make an emergency landing on a beach.

- EWN