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Plane crashes after take-off in Pakistan

A plane belonging to Pakistan's national carrier has crashed shortly after take-off from the country's north with about 40 people on board, officials said.

The Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed in a village near the town of Havelian, about 75 kilometres (45 miles) north west of the capital Islamabad, senior police officer Khurram Rasheed said.

There were no immediate details on casualties but Pakistan's interior ministry dispatched a team with experts on identifying bodies through DNA tests.

State-run Pakistan Television showed a huge fire rising from the site of the crash, while v illagers were seen standing nearby.

Shortly before the crash was confirmed, airline spokesman Daniyal Gilani said the ATR-42 aircraft carrying around 40 passengers and crew had lost touch with the control tower.

A local police official, Khursheed Tanoli, told state-run TV that the plane went down in a village in the north west and that rescuers are trying to reach the site of the crash.

The army said it dispatched troops and helicopters to the location.