A tiny Caribbean airline says one of its small planes has crashed during takeoff at Antigua's airport, killing the pilot.

The status of the three passengers aboard the FlyMontserrat plane is not immediately clear after the Sunday accident at V.C. Bird International Airport.

FlyMontserrat spokeswoman Karen Allen says she can only confirm the death of the pilot, whose name has not been released. Allen says the airline is still gathering information about the crash and expects to issue a statement later.

The twin-engine Britten-Norman Islander plane crashed off a runway about 4 p.m. EDT. It was headed from Antigua to the nearby island of Montserrat.

Antigua's airport was closed for at least an hour as emergency officials responded to the crash.