A Libyan army medical plane crashed south of Tunis early Friday, killing all 11 people on board, the Tunisian emergency services said. “The plane crashed at 1:30 am (0030 GMT) with 11 people on board, three doctors, two patients and six crew members,” spokesman Mongi El Kadhi said.
He said there were no survivors from the accident in the Grombalia area, 40 kilometres from the capital, Tunis.
“The whole plane was completely burnt out. The emergency services went to the crash site and recovered the charred bodies,” according to El Kadhi.
Shortly before the plane disappeared from radar, the pilot radioed the control tower at Tunis airport to say an engine had failed.
The aircraft crashed in a field on the edge of the village of Nianou but managed to avoid any houses, eyewitnesses reported.
At daybreak, teams began searching for the aircraft's black box flight recorders in a bid to establish the cause of the crash.
There was no immediate word on the identities of the two patients on board or why they were being flown to Tunis.
The aircraft was a Soviet-designed twin-propeller Antonov-26, Tunisia's Mosaique FM radio reported.