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Pakistan Plane Crash Kills 21

Pakistani officials and soldiers examine the site of a plane crash in Karachi, 05 Nov 2010

Pakistani officials and soldiers examine the site of a plane crash in Karachi, 05 Nov 2010

In Pakistan a small chartered plane has crashed in the south of the country, killing all 21 people on board.

The plane departed from Pakistan's airport in the port city of Karachi and shortly after takeoff began experiencing mechanical trouble.

"Right after takeoff the pilot reported that one of his engines is not working properly, there is a problem in one engine and he was asked to land back. When he was turning back at the same time it fell down and crashed," explained Pervez George, a spokesman for Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority.

The plane, owned by Pakistani charter company JS Air, crashed into an open field near a military depot.

Officials say the Beech twin engine aircraft had been chartered by ENI, an Italian-based oil company, and was carrying its employees.

Authorities say the plane's destination was an oil field in Bhit Shah, in the southern province of Sindh.

The plane caught fire after the crash and pictures from the scene showed it had broken into pieces, with the tail separated from the rest of the aircraft.

Officials say the bodies of the passengers and crew were charred beyond recognition.

Pakistani television reports say the plane's flight data recorder was recovered from the crash site.

Pakistan is a large country of about 170 million people where inter-city travel is most efficient by air.

Karachi is Pakistan's business and economic capital and is a teeming city of at least 16 million people on the Arabian Sea.

In July, a passenger Airbus 321 jet operated by Airblue, crashed into a hillside outside the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, killing 152 people.