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Four killed after cargo plane crashes into Atlantic Ocean

Four crew members were killed when a cargo plane chartered by the French military crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the Ivory Coast.

The plane was on its approach to the international airport in Abidjan when it crashed, killing four crew members from Moldova and injuring six others from Moldova and France.

Ten people were on board the plane arriving from the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso.

The French Defence Ministry said the four French nationals included a civilian and three military personnel. It said the plane was chartered for operations in Western Africa.

The French have forces in several Sahel countries, including Burkina Faso, to help combat extremists.

Ange Koutaye Ismael, a 19-year-old student, told The Associated Press he saw the four bodies carried out of the plane, which had been broken in two in the shallow waters.

Mr Ismael said he he noticed a plane flying low over his neighbourhood on Saturday morning. When he heard a plane had crashed on the beach, he ran down to film it.

Stormy weather probably played a role, he said.

"There was winds yesterday and I saw how planes seemed to have difficulties in getting up," he said.

Chrisian Kouame, who also lives near the airport, said he was awakened before 7am by a loud noise.

"We thought at the beginning it was the waves of the sea in the rain, but the cries of our neighbours caught our attention," he said. "When we went out we saw the aircraft broken by the beach. Airport authorities were alerted and rescue workers were immediately sent to help recover those wounded."

Air traffic at the airport in the West African nation continued after the crash, according to the flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.

In February 2000, a Kenya Airways Airbus 310 carrying 179 people destined for Lagos, Nigeria, crashed into the ocean after take-off from Abidjan, leaving only 10 survivors.

AP

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