Plumes of smoke

Local television showed firefighters hosing down smouldering pieces of debris at the crash site as plumes of grey smoke rose in the air.

Issam Awad Metwalli, the consul-general in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, said all six crew members were Sudanese, AFP reported.

Metwalli said the aircraft belonged to Sudanese freight company Azzi and was en route to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

Sharjah is one of seven emirates in the UAE and has one of the busiest airports in the country, although it has been eclipsed by Dubai's airport.

In 2004, 43 people died when an aircraft operated by an Iranian company crashed as it was landing at Sharjah airport.