Brazil plane crash in Recife kills all 16 on board

Firefighters in Recife, Brazil, spray flame retardant on the crashed L410
Image caption Firefighters said there were no survivors from the crash

A twin-engine aircraft has crashed in north-east Brazil, killing all 16 people on board.

The crew had reported problems almost immediately after take-off from the city of Recife, officials said.

They said the pilot had apparently tried to land on the beach near Recife, but the plane came down on an empty lot and burst into flames.

Authorities say they believe weather was not a factor in the crash, which they are now investigating.

Firefighters said the blaze was quickly brought under control.

According to the authorities, the plane came down on wasteland between two Recife neighbourhoods - Piedade and Boa Viagem.

Brazilian media reported that the crash scene was just 150m from the beach and in a residential area.

A circus had been pitched on the site a fortnight previously, reports said.

"I saw a woman in a window [of the plane] asking for help and it just exploded" witness Erandir Rodriguez told the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

"There was nothing to be done."

The twin-engined L410 was operated by Noar Airlines and took off from Recife at 0615 (0915 GMT), officials said.

It was en route to Mossoro via Natal.

Noar Airlines has been operating for about a year, running short flights in north-east Brazil.