Plane crashes in South Sudan, witnesses say dozens killed

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Cargo Plane Crashes in South Sudan

A Russian-built cargo plane with passengers on board crashed on Wednesday after taking off from the airport in South Sudan's capital, killing dozens of people, witnesses said.

An official said three people on board survived.

The precise death toll was not immediately clear after the Antonov-12 B plane turbo prop plane crashed soon after take off, leaving chunks of wreckage, bodies and cargo strewn along a bank of the White Nile River.

See photos from the scene:

13 PHOTOS
South Sudan plane crash
See Gallery
Plane crashes in South Sudan, witnesses say dozens killed
Responders pick through the wreckage of a cargo plane which crashed in the capital Juba, South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The cargo plane was taking off from the South Sudanese capital of Juba when it crashed along the banks of the Nile River, killing dozens according to witnesses and the government. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
Responders pick through the wreckage of a cargo plane which crashed in the capital Juba, South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The cargo plane was taking off from the South Sudanese capital of Juba when it crashed along the banks of the Nile River, killing dozens according to witnesses and the government. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN - NOVEMBER 04: Wreckage of Russian cargo plane is seen in Juba, South Sudan, on November 04, 2015. A Russian cargo plane with 20 people on board crashed two minutes after take off from Juba International Airport. (Photo by Samir Bol/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN - NOVEMBER 04: South Sudanese people mourn for the crashed Russian cargo plane victims in Juba, South Sudan, on November 04, 2015. A Russian cargo plane with 20 people on board crashed two minutes after take off from Juba International Airport. (Photo by Samir Bol/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Responders remove a body from the wreckage of a cargo plane which crashed in the capital Juba, South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The cargo plane was taking off from the South Sudanese capital of Juba when it crashed along the banks of the Nile River, killing dozens according to witnesses and the government. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
An armed responder watches over as others pick through the wreckage of a cargo plane which crashed in the capital Juba, South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The cargo plane was taking off from the South Sudanese capital of Juba when it crashed along the banks of the Nile River, killing dozens according to witnesses and the government. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
Responders remove a body from the wreckage of a cargo plane which crashed in the capital Juba, South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The cargo plane was taking off from the South Sudanese capital of Juba when it crashed along the banks of the Nile River, killing dozens according to witnesses and the government. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
Responders pick through the wreckage of a cargo plane which crashed in the capital Juba, South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The cargo plane was taking off from the South Sudanese capital of Juba when it crashed along the banks of the Nile River, killing dozens according to witnesses and the government. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
Local residents observe as responders pick through the wreckage of a cargo plane which crashed in the capital Juba, South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The cargo plane was taking off from the South Sudanese capital of Juba when it crashed along the banks of the Nile River, killing dozens according to witnesses and the government. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
People gather at the site where a cargo plane crashed into a small farming community on a small island in the White Nile river, close to Juba airport in the Hai Gabat residential area, on November 4, 2015. At least 25 people were killed on November 4 when a plane crash-landed shortly after taking off from South Sudan's capital Juba, an AFP reporter said. AFP PHOTO/Charles Lomodong (Photo credit should read CHARLES LOMODONG/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather at the site where a cargo plane crashed into a small farming community on a small island in the White Nile river, close to Juba airport in the Hai Gabat residential area, on November 4, 2015. At least 25 people were killed on November 4 when a plane crash-landed shortly after taking off from South Sudan's capital Juba, an AFP reporter said. AFP PHOTO/Charles Lomodong (Photo credit should read CHARLES LOMODONG/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather at the site where a cargo plane crashed into a small farming community on a small island in the White Nile river, close to Juba airport in the Hai Gabat residential area, on November 4, 2015. At least 25 people were killed on November 4 when a plane crash-landed shortly after taking off from South Sudan's capital Juba, an AFP reporter said. AFP PHOTO/Charles Lomodong (Photo credit should read CHARLES LOMODONG/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The Civil Aviation Authority said the number of dead was still being counted.

A Reuters witness saw 41 bodies, some of which were covered by cloth. A police officer, who did not give his name because he was not authorized to speak to the media, also put the death toll at 41. Another witness counted at least 32 killed.

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Reuters the plane was carrying 18 people, including the six foreign crew, according to official documents. He said 15 of them died and three South Sudanese nationals survived, including a child.

"This is the number given to us by the (control) tower," he told Reuters in reference to those on board. Asked about figures suggesting a higher toll, he said it could be people killed on the ground but said he had no indication about any such deaths.

Officials said the plane belonged to freight and logistics firm Allied Services Ltd. Officials at the company could not immediately be reached for comment.

"We have rushed to the site of crash which is located near the airport, southeast of Juba International Airport (across) the river," said the chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority at Juba airport, Stephen Warikozi.

"We have secured the site of crash and also we are in the stage of recovering bodies and black box," he said. "We are still now recovering the dead bodies and we cannot give you the exact number."

The plane, registration number EY406, had been on its way to Paloch, in the north of South Sudan, Warikozi said.

The presidential spokesman said the six crew were comprised of five Armenians and one Russian. He said all the others on the flight were South Sudanese.

Armenia's Foreign Ministry confirmed that five of its citizens who were members of the crew died in the crash. It cited its embassy in Egypt.

(Additional reporting by Reuters Television and Alexander Winning in Moscow; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Dominic Evans)

RELATED: See notable plane crashes in recent years

16 PHOTOS
Notable plane crashes in recent years
See Gallery
Plane crashes in South Sudan, witnesses say dozens killed
Rescuers search for victims at the site where an air force cargo plane crashed in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The Hercules C-130 plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in the country's third-largest city Medan. (AP Photo/Yudha Lesmana)
Crew members of Crest Onyx ship prepare to unload parts of AirAsia Flight 8501 from a ship at Kumai port in Pangkalan Bun,Sunday, Jan.11, 2015. A day after the tail of the crashed AirAsia plane was fished out of the Java Sea, the search for the missing black boxes intensified Sunday with more pings heard. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
A photo taken on July 23, 2014 shows the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in a field near the village of Grabove, in the Donetsk region. The first bodies from flight MH17 arrived in the Netherlands on July 23 almost a week after it was shot down over Ukraine, with grieving relatives and the king and queen solemnly receiving the as yet unidentified victims. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo made available Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, and provided by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, Egyptian Military on cars approach a plane's tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana, Egypt, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. The Russian cargo plane on Monday brought the first bodies of Russian victims killed in a plane crash in Egypt home to St. Petersburg, a city awash in grief for its missing residents. (Maxim Grigoriev/Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations via AP)
A firefighter looks on toward the wreckage of a plane crash on Interstate 285, Friday, May 8, 2015, in Doraville, Ga. Spokesman Capt. Eric Jackson of the DeKalb County Fire Department told reporters that four were onboard, and all died. He says the east-west highway is shut down in both directions. He says he doesn't know any details about where the plane was headed. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
In this photo provided Monday, April 13, 2015 by the French Interior Ministry, debris of the Germanwings passenger jet are gathered near the crash site in Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The foreign ministers of Spain, France and Germany attended a wreath-laying ceremony Monday at Barcelona's airport in memory of the 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash last month in the French Alps. (Yves Malenfer/French Interior Ministry via AP)
Firefighters (L) inspect a house damaged by fire caused after a light plane crashed into a residential area in Tokyo on July 26, 2015. The light single-engine plane crashed into a residential area in Tokyo, setting fire to several houses and reportedly killing three people. JAPAN OUT -- AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker stands on a ladder Monday, June 29, 2015, while boarding up windows to a home that was destroyed Sunday in a small plane crash, in Plainville, Mass. The plane flying from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to Norwood, Mass., struck the roof of the Plainville home and burst into flames Sunday. Four people in the structure, including two children, escaped unharmed. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
VENICE, CA - MARCH 05: A general view at the Penmar Golf Course after a single-engine plane piloted by actor Harrison Ford crashed on March 5, 2015 in Venice, California. Ford was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital in fair to moderate condition. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Rescue workers work next to the wreckage of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 which crashed while attempting to land in stormy weather on the Taiwanese island of Penghu, late Wednesday, July 23, 2014. A plane landing in stormy weather crashed outside an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, and a transport minister said dozens of people were trapped and feared dead. (AP Photo/Wong Yao-wen)
Emergency services personnel work at the scene after a plane crash near the Seville airport, in Spain, Saturday, May 9, 2015. A military transport plane crashed near southwestern Seville airport Saturday, killing its crew, Spain's prime minister said. It is unclear if any others were injured. Mariano Rajoy said up to 10 crew members were aboard the brand new Airbus A400M aircraft that was undergoing flight trials at the airport. (AP Photo/Miguel Angel Morenatti)
Iranian security forces react next to the remains of a plane as they secure the scene of a crash near Tehran's Mehrabad airport on August 10, 2014. A civilian airliner crashed on take-off near the Mehrabad airport in the capital, Iranian news agencies said, with reports that almost 50 people were killed. AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo provided Friday July 25, 2014 by the French army shows a helicopter at the site of the plane crash in Mali. French soldiers secured a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, the French president said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason for the catastrophe that killed all onboard is bad weather. At least 116 people were killed in Thursday's disaster, nearly half of whom were French. (AP Photo/ECPAD)
GAITHERSBURG, MD - DEC 08: Three people were killed in this house after it caught fire due to a plane that crashed just yards away. A plane crashed into houses on Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg, Maryland today. Three persons were killed in the plane and 3 persons were killed in one of the homes. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Indonesian rescuers search through wreckage of the Trigana Air ATR 42-300 twin-turboprop plane at the crash site in the mountainous area of Oksibil on August 18, 2015. A plane that crashed in eastern Indonesia was found on August 18 'completely destroyed' with the bodies of all 54 passengers and crew strewn amid the wreckage in a fire-blackened jungle clearing, officials said. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


More from AOL.com:
For transgender, cross-dressing Argentine girl sign of hope
Ohio votes down legalizing pot for medical, recreational use
Chipotle now linked to 35 confirmed E. coli cases

Read Full Story

People are Reading