A cargo plan crashed at Brazzaville airport as it was trying to land in a storm, killing at least 30 residents and also the crew, emergency services and witnesses said.

The plane skidded off the runway and crashed into houses and a bar in the Congolese capital before crashing into a ravine, said Georgelin Massemba, head of the emergency services.

The crew, numbering three or four people, are thought to have died in the ensuing fire.

Another 20 or so people had been injured in the crash and taken to nearby hospitals, said witnesses.

The Ilyushin a Soviet era designed plane, registered with local company Aero-services, was flying in from the western port city of Pointe Noire carrying cars and other goods.

A journalist at the scene said the crash happened during a violent storm.

Two hours after the crash, firefighters were still scouring the wreckage to look for victims.

Although the plane was to carry freight, they sometimes also carry people other than the crew.

Africa has some of the worst air safety records in the world.

In June a commercial jetliner crashed in Lagos, Nigeria, killing 153 people.

Source: Agencies