A small plane has crashed in southwestern Colombia, killing seven people and injuring three others.
The incident on Sunday occurred just a few minutes after the aircraft, which was operated by a local company named Transpacifico, took off from the airport in Popayan, a city of about 270,000 people surrounded by mountains.
The plane, which crashed at 2:11pm (19:11 GMT), was headed to Lopez de Micay, also in Cauca department.
Popayan Mayor Cesar Gomez said seven of the nine people aboard were killed in the crash. The two others were injured and were being treated at a hospital.
The third person hurt was a child on the ground in the area where the plane crashed, Juan Carlos Ganan, the commander of firefighters in the area, told AFP news agency.
Firefighters were trying to stop fuel leaking from the aircraft, he added.
Colombia’s civil aviation authority said in a statement it was investigating the cause of the crash.
Photographs on social media showed parts of the airplane scattered on the roof of houses in the area. Gomez, the mayor, said he had convened a working group to assist affected residents.
El avión implicado en el accidente cuando despegaba del aeropuerto de Popayán es un Piper PA31 matrícula HK5229 adscrito a la aerolínea Transpacífico. La aeronave cubría la ruta Popayán – López de Micay con 9 personas abordo (incluída la tripulación). Fotos Crédito a su Autor pic.twitter.com/Z0pdPWc4Gy
— Info Vuelos Colombia (@AirTrafficLatin) September 15, 2019
Translation: The plane involved in the accident took off from the Popayan airport, it was a Piper PA31 registration HK5229. The aircraft covered the route Popayan – Lopez de Micay with 9 people on board (including the crew), Info Vuelos Colombia tweeted on Sunday.
Al Jazeera and news agencies