Small Plane Crashes in Posh Rio Neighborhood; 4 Dead

A small plane crashed near a busy avenue in one of Rio de Janeiro's most upscale neighborhoods at lunch hour on Sunday, killing all four people aboard, authorities said.

The single-engine Cirrus SR22, owned by Brazilian trade logistics provider Cisa Trading, went down in a lot beside a car dealership about a block from the Avenida das Americas, a main avenue in the posh Barra da Tijuca district, Civil Aviation spokeswoman Sandra Fontella said.

No one on the ground was injured and the passengers were not immediately identified, although Brazilian media said a local businessman was likely among the victims. The plane's pilot was killed, Fontella said.

The four-seat plane had just taken off from the nearby Jacarepagua airport and was flying over some of the city's most luxurious condominiums en route to the southern city of Florianopolis, Fontella said.

Its engine seemed to make an unusual noise as the plane sank from the sky and exploded upon impact, witnesses told local media.

"There was too much fire," Michele do Egito, who was working at the neighboring car dealership at the time of the crash, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. "You couldn't even tell what kind of aircraft had gone down."