5 die in crash of Mexican cargo plane in Monterrey

A Mexican air force cargo plane crashed at Monterrey International Airport on Wednesday, killing five military personnel, the Defense Department said.

The plane went down after takeoff, the ministry said in a statement, but provided no other details about the accident. Milenio television reported that the plane crashed and exploded after the crew attempted an emergency landing shortly after taking off.

Milenio identified the five victims as the plane's pilot and co-pilot, navigator, electrician and mechanic.

Speaking at a news conference in Mexico City, federal police spokesman Alejandro Poire presented the government's condolences to the victims' families.

The Central-North Airport Group, the regional airport authority, said flights in and out of Monterrey were continuing. The Monterrey airport serves Mexico's third largest city, which is in the northeastern state of Nuevo Leon.

In a statement, the authority identified the plane as an Antonov AN32, a Russian-made, twin-engine aircraft.

The Mexican air force lost another Antonov cargo plane in 2006, when the aircraft plunged into the Pacific Ocean off Acapulco, killing four crew members. The plane was returning to its base in the town of Pie de la Cuesta, south of Acapulco, when it went down.