LUANDA, Angola (AP) _ A cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Luanda international airport Tuesday, smashing into a shantytown in the suburbs of the Angolan capital. At least 19 people were killed, according to reports.

Eyewitnesses said the Russian-built Antonov-12 was on fire in the air before it crashed.

Branco Ferreira, national director for civil aviation, said the plane was flying to Lukapa in northeast Angola, about 370 miles from Luanda.

``It crashed on some houses and the first reports we have are that 19 people were killed,'' Ferreira told reporters. He didn't know whether the dead were passengers or people on the ground.

A rescue team was at the crash site, he said. No further information was immediately available.

In the past few months, two U.N. transport planes have crashed in Angola, killing 23 people.