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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

At least 4 killed in plane crash off Ivory Coast

Ivorian security minister Sidiki Diakite said those killed were from Moldova. Of the six injured, four were French citizens

People pull the wreckage of a propeller-engine cargo plane after it crashed in the sea near the international airport in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, on October 14, 2017. Ange Aboa / Reuters
People pull the wreckage of a propeller-engine cargo plane after it crashed in the sea near the international airport in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, on October 14, 2017. Ange Aboa / Reuters

At least four people were killed and six were injured in a plane crash off the Ivory Coast near Abidjan on Saturday.

Ivorian security minister Sidiki Diakite said those killed were from Moldova. Of the six injured, four were French citizens and two were Moldovan.

Several Ivorian security sources said they were French soldiers aboard and the cargo plane was carrying French military cargo.

"The aircraft failed to land and crashed in the water... Firefighters and security forces are on the scene," said police commissioner Charlemagne Bleu.

The plane had been approaching the international airport in Abidjan from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

"We have six injured that we have evacuated to the Port-Bouet camp in Abidjan for treatment," a French official Lt Villain said.

Eye witnesses at the scene said hundreds of onlookers had gathered on the beach, while rescue workers rushed to help.

It is believed the crash happened during heavy rain and lightning, as images surfaced of the plane in pieces in the sea.

"There was winds yesterday and I saw how planes seemed to have difficulties in getting up," Ange Koutaye Ismael, a 19-year-old witness told Associated Press.

While another witness, Chrisian Kouame who lives near the airport, said: "We thought at the beginning it was the waves of the sea in the rain, but the cries of our neighbours caught our attention.

"When we went out we saw the aircraft broken by the beach. Airport authorities were alerted and rescue workers were immediately sent to help recover those wounded."

In 2000, a Kenya Airways plane crashed off the coast of Abidjan after takeoff leaving 169 people dead.

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