Re: Plane crashes in Sao Paulo Airport (in Brasil)
SAO PAULO, Brazil (CNN) -- A TAM Airline passenger plane carrying as many as 170 people crashed Tuesday while attempting to land at Sao Paulo's Congonhas domestic airport, the airline said.
The scene of the plane crash in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The statement did not say how many people were on board. There was no immediate word on survivors.
The plane apparently struck a building. Video footage from the scene showed visible flames at the crash site and a TAM sign visible on the building.
Flight JJ3054, an Airbus A320, was coming to Sao Paulo from Porto Alegre, the airline said. Watch scene after plane crashes in Sao Paulo »
The airline said it could not immediately confirm the extent of the damage or the number of victims. Family members of those on the plane were being given assistance, it said. An airline crew was at the scene working with emergency responders.
A statement from firefighters said about 50 rescue vehicles were at the scene. The fire continues to burn, firefighters said, but rescuing people on the plane is officials' priority.
Tom Hennigan, a reporter from The Times of London in Sao Paulo, told CNN that Tuesday's weather in Sao Paulo included low-lying clouds and heavy rain.
The airport's main runway was closed for several weeks at one point while it was repaired because of a problem with water collecting on the runway, Hennigan said. It was too early, however, to say whether that may have contributed to Tuesday's incident, he said.
The airport is small and in a densely populated area, he said.
"When you fly into Congonhas airport, it is like you are literally flying past people's living rooms in apartment blocks," Hennigan said. "Then you land on the runway. It is completely surrounded by the central part of Sao Paulo city. This is not an airport out on the edge of the city. This is right in the city."
According to the Associated Press, Brazil's deadliest crash occurred last September when a Gol Aerolinhas Inteligentes SA Boeing 737 collided with an executive jet over the Amazon rainforest.