N'DJAMENA, Chad – A cargo plane delivering aid crashed in neighboring Cameroon after developing technical problems while attempting to land in the Chadian capital early Sunday, killing all six crew, aviation officials said.
The Ukrainian civilian plane had been chartered by Libyan airlines and all the crew members were Ukrainian. It had had been scheduled to land in N'djamena at 4:55 a.m. (0355GMT), said Mahamat Saleh Douga, a representative of the Agency for Security and Navigation for Africa and Madagascar.
"The flight went well until the moment the pilot wanted to land and he could not land for some technical reasons and overflew N'djamena Airport, and that is when the plane crashed in Kousseri in Cameroon," he said from the control tower at the Hassan Djamous International Airport in N'djamena. "All the six crew died."
The Antonov An-72 was carrying food aid, including wheat flour, cooking oil and sugar to Chad. It landed in the Libyan town of Sebha for refueling before leaving for N'djamena, said Taher Abu Zouj, director of Matika Airport in Libya where the flight started.
Residents of the Chadian capital reported hearing a loud explosion before dawn, followed by a massive ball of flame that illuminated the night sky. The plane crashed in a Cameroonian village on the banks of the Chari River, which separates N'djamena and Kousseri district.
Dozens of Cameroonians gathered near the smoldering wreckage, which security forces had cordoned off and where Chadian and Cameroonian aviation authorities were taking notes.
An Associated Press reporter counted five blue plastic body bags, two of which were carried closer to a road where they could be transported to the nearest morgue.
A Chadian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was in a foreign country, said the plane was carrying cooking oil. Scores of burnt food cans were visible.
Most of the plane was burned, but some of the wreckage still had its white, blue and yellow colors.