KARACHI // A small plane with 21 people on board chartered to international oil company ENI crashed after taking off from Pakistan's Karachi airport on Friday, killing all on board, officials said.
The aircraft, a Beech 1900C twin-engine turboprop operated by the private JS Air, crashed inside a military ordnance compound close to Karachi's Jinnah International Airport.
JS Air spokesman Nadeem Hanif said 17 ENI passengers were onboard, along with two pilots, a technician and a security guard.
Italian oil company ENI, one of the largest foreign producers in Pakistan's energy sector, said in a statement in Milan that 15 of its passengers were ENI employees while the two worked for a contractor.
Neither company gave details of the nationalities of the dead, but the Italian Foreign Office in Rome said one Italian was killed. Aviation officials in Karachi had earlier said there was at least one foreigner on board.
Pervez George, a spokesman for Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority, said the aircraft was en route to an oil field near Bhit Shah in Sindh province, some 190 km north-east of Karachi and crashed due to a technical fault soon after take-off.
"When it took off, just after one minute, the pilot contacted the control tower saying that there was a fault in one of the engines. He was asked to return, but as it was turning back, it crashed," George said.
The aircraft split into two after crashing into an open area inside the boundary of the military's Central Ordnance Depot in Karachi, and caught fire.