A cargo plane crashed Saturday into the Atlantic Ocean after taking off from Ivory Coast’s international airport in Abidjan, leaving at least four people dead.
Four Moldovan nationals were killed and two others were injured in the crash, the Ivorian security minister said.
Four French citizens also survived the crash but were injured, Sidiki Diakite told reporters at the scene of the
accident. Several Ivorian security sources said they were French soldiers.
The spokesman for French forces in Ivory Coast also said at least six people were injured.
The Antonov aircraft, which had been chartered by the French army as part of the anti-militant Operation Barkhane, was carrying French military cargo, the spokesman and a French military source said.
“We have six injured that we have evacuated to the Port-Bouet camp in Abidjan for treatment,” said the spokesman.
Ange Koutaye Ismael, a 19-year-old student, told The Associated Press he saw four bodies carried out of the airplane, which had been broken in two in the shallow waters.
Stormy weather likely played a role in the crash, he said.
“There was winds yesterday and I saw how planes seemed to have difficulties in getting up,” he added.
Hundreds of onlookers gathered at the beach as rescue workers ran to the scene. The tail and propellers of the plane were exposed.
Air traffic at the airport in the West African nation appeared to continue after the crash, according to the flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.