SAO PAULO, Brazil – An executive jet crashed into a heavily populated neighborhood of Sao Paulo on Sunday, killing at least eight people and leaving a pile of smoky rubble just months after the city suffered the nation's deadliest air disaster.
The plane, a Learjet 35 belonging to a Brazilian air taxi company, slammed into two houses shortly after taking off, said Lucia Ferreira, a spokeswoman for airport authority Infraero. The dead included four men, two women, a child and another person, Sao Paulo's state security department said in a statement.
Authorities did not immediately say how many people were aboard the jet, or how many of the dead were in the plane or on the ground.
Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the crash, but Ferreira said there were no immediate indications that it was related to the Brazilian air traffic chaos and woes including the July 17 crash of a Tam Linhas Aereas SA jetliner, which slammed into a building in Sao Paulo, killing 199 people.
That crash happened at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport, widely criticized for having a short runway that makes landing tricky during rainy conditions.
The jet that crashed Sunday afternoon took off from the Campo de Marte airport, used by executive jets and helicopters. It was owned by Reali Taxi Aereo and was en route to Rio de Janeiro, Ferreira said.
Witnesses told Brazilian media the plane plowed nose first into the blue-collar neighborhood as it apparently tried to return to the airport during cloudy and slightly rainy conditions. One home was destroyed and another was heavily damaged. More than 60 firefighters were still combing through the debris hours later.