A regional plane crashed in the northeastern city of Recife early on Wednesday, killing all 16 people on board, Brazil's Air Force has announced.
The Noar Airlines twin-turboprop aircraft reported problems shortly after taking off early Wednesday morning. The pilot attempted an emergency landing, and after hitting the ground hard, the plane crashed into a vacant lot at Recife airport and subsequently burst into flames.
Witnesses said that one passenger was making pleading gestures for help through the aircraft window, but it exploded before anyone could respond.
Brazilian media reported that the crash scene was just a few hundred feet from from the beach and in a residential area. Apparently the pilot was aiming to land on the beach.
I saw a woman in a window (of the plane) asking for help and it just exploded, witness Erandir Rodrigues da Silva told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. There was nothing to be done.
Forbes reported on data from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board that found four other accidents involving the same model of plane - an L-410, built by LET Aircraft Industries in the Czech Republic.
The crashes took place in Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica between 2000 and 2001, and caused a total of 31 deaths.
On June 1, 2009, an Air France flight disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean after departing Rio de Janeiro. All 228 on board were killed, and the debris was not found until April 2011. It was the worst disaster ever to befall Air France.