Angolan Airlines Plane Crashes on Landing, 5 Dead

An Angolan Airlines plane crashed on landing at an airport in northern Angola on Thursday, killing five people on the same day the European Union said it was blacklisting the airline due to safety concerns.

The Boeing 737 plane crashed and broke in half when it landed at an airport in M'banza Congo, a town about 180 miles north of the capital, Luanda, national airports chief Celso Rosas said.

The airline, called TAAG, said in a statement that 79 passengers had been on board when the accident occurred at 1.40 p.m. local time.

It gave no information about the dead or injured, nor about the possible causes, but said an emergency team was investigating at the scene.

The plane landed halfway down the runway and bounced out of control before crashing into a house, state news agency Angop reported from the scene. Earlier, it had reported six people were killed, but that number was revised to five by officials.

The aircraft's landing gear appeared to give way as the plane touched down, Radio Nacional de Angola reported. It said seven crew had been on board, and that the co-pilot died in the crash.

Rescue workers were trying to reach the co-pilot's body, the public radio station reported, and a crane was helping to remove debris.

The injured were taken to a hospital in the nearest city, called Zaire, Angop said.

The European Union announced Thursday it was adding the airline to its revised international blacklist. The airline would be barred from flying to EU nations because of safety concerns, the European Commission said.

Earlier this year, the European Union unilaterally banned 62 African airlines from flying into EU airspace following a string of air disasters, including the Kenya Airways B737 crash that killed 114 people.

On Thursday, African governments inaugurated the Civil Aviation Agency, based in Namibia with regional offices in South Africa, Ethiopia, Libya, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The body aims to streamline aviation regulations and licensing throughout Africa at a time when the continent has the worst accident record in the world. About 3 percent of air traffic worldwide currently takes place over Africa. With growth in trade and tourism, the aviation industry predicts a growth of more than 5 percent in African air travel over the next 20 years.