Cargo plane crashes in sea off Ivory Coast after takeoff

Map of Ivory Coast. (iStock)
Map of Ivory Coast. (iStock)

Abidjan - A cargo plane crashed on Saturday into the Atlantic Ocean after taking off from Ivory Coast's international airport in Abidjan, while witnesses said they saw four bodies amid the wreckage.

At least six people were injured, the spokesperson for French forces in Ivory Coast said. The plane was carrying French military cargo, he said. He didn't know how many people had been on the plane.

"We have six injured that we have evacuated to the Port-Bouet camp in Abidjan for treatment. I cannot yet confirm any cases of death, since we are waiting to see," said the spokesperson.

He gave his name only as Lt. Villain, citing French protocol.

Ange Koutaye Ismael, a 19-year-old student, told The Associated Press he saw four bodies carried out of the airplane, which had been broken in two in the shallow waters.

Ismael said he was at home on Saturday morning when he noticed a plane flying low over his neighborhood. When he heard a plane had crashed on the beach, he ran down to film it.

Stormy weather likely played a role in the crash, he said.

"There was winds yesterday and I saw how planes seemed to have difficulties in getting up," he said.

Hundreds of onlookers gathered at the beach as rescue workers ran to the scene. Rescue workers carried away what appeared to be a corpse in a yellow bag. The tail and propellers of the plane were exposed.

Air traffic at the airport in the West African nation appeared to continue after the crash, according to the flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.

In February 2000, a Kenya Airways Airbus 310 carrying 179 people destined for Lagos, Nigeria crashed into the ocean after takeoff from Abidjan, leaving only 10 survivors.

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