Plane carrying 27 crashes in Nigeria's Lagos, five dead

LAGOS (REUTERS) - A small chartered passenger plane with 27 people onboard crashed shortly after take-off at Lagos airport's domestic terminal on Thursday and at least five people were killed, authorities said.

Aviation Ministry spokesman Joe Obi said there were some survivors from the Associated Airlines plane, which was flying from Nigeria's commercial capital to Akure, a southwestern town about 140 miles (225 km) away, with seven crew and 20 passengers.

He did not have details of the type of aircraft.

"The plane couldn't lift properly so it just came down," Mr Obi said. "Some persons are being rushed to hospital. A few dead bodies have been recovered, but there are survivors."

Yakubu Dati, coordinating general manager of Nigeria's airports authority, told Reuters on the scene that at least five passengers had been killed.

Several local radio stations and Channels TV reported that the plane was carrying a family and the body of former governor of Ondo state Olusegun Agagu to his funeral.

"There's a lot of smoke coming from the runway. There are fire-fighters rushing to the scene," Rasaki Rhakod, who runs a car service around the airport, told Reuters.

Air crashes are relatively common in Nigeria, which despite having Africa's second-biggest economy has a poor safety record.

In June last year, 163 people died when a Dana Air plane crashed into a Lagos apartment block in the country's worst airline disaster in two decades.