A small plane has crashed on a major Mexican highway, killing all five people on board and shutting down traffic in both directions for several hours.

Mexico's civil aviation authority says the aircraft went down on the side of the road between Mexico City and the industrial hub of Queretaro to the northwest. It is one of Mexico's most heavily trafficked motorways.

Civil Protection director Gerardo Quirarte Perez said the pilot may have tried to make an emergency landing on the highway Tuesday afternoon shortly after taking off from Queretaro, but authorities were still investigating.

The plane's fuselage was destroyed.