DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) ¿ A Sudanese cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday from Sharjah airport near Dubai, killing at least six crew members.
The Boeing 707 operated by Sudan Airways went down in unpopulated desert about two miles (three kilometers) north of the airport, said Sheik Khalid al-Qassimi, director of the Sharjah department of civil aviation. He said there were no survivors among the six crew members aboard.
Sudan's official SUNA news agency quoted an unnamed official from the airline as saying seven crew members were killed. The discrepancy in the toll could not immediately be reconciled.As night fell, the cause of the crash remained unclear. The "black box" flight recorders that should contain information about the flights have been recovered, al-Qassimi said. Witnesses described seeing the plane swing sharply to the right shortly after takeoff as it struggled to gain altitude. "We saw it taking off at quite a low level. The nose was quite high. Higher than normal," said Bill Buchanan, a Dubai resident who was playing golf nearby. "It veered to the right, then nosed down straight into the desert. There was a huge ball of fire and smoke."