8 Killed in Moldova Crash

CHISINAU, Moldova -- A Sudanese-owned transport plane laden with fuel crashed shortly after takeoff from an airport near the Moldovan capital and burst into flames, killing all eight people on board, authorities said Saturday.

No casualties were reported on the ground.

The plane, an An-32, took off for Sudan late Friday, but pilots requested permission to return to Chisinau airport 10 minutes into the flight, the press service of the country's emergency department said.

Pilots tried to land the transport, which was carrying a cargo of 2.3 tons of fuel, but one of the wings struck a fence and electrical wires a few kilometers from the airport and the plane burst into flames, the department of Civil Protection and Exceptional Situations said.

The plane crashed at the edge of the village of Bacioi, and there were no reports of damage or injuries because the explosion occurred on the outskirts of the village.

The emergency department said all eight crew died, including two technical crew, and that four were Moldovans and four were Ukrainians. Seven bodies have been recovered, it said.

The plane, owned by the Sudanese company Kata Air Transport, had been due to stop en route to Sudan in Antalia, Turkey.

The crash is being investigated, the emergency department said.