KARACHI - A SMALL plane with at least 21 people on board chartered to international oil company ENI crashed after taking off from Pakistan's Karachi airport on Friday, killing all on board, an aviation official said.

Mr Pervez George, a spokesman for Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority, said the aircraft crashed due to a technical fault soon after taking off.

At least 12 bodies have been recovered so far.

'The plane has been destroyed,' said Lt Colonel Noor Agha, an army official supervising recovery operations. 'The dead bodies are burned beyond recognition. It could not be recognised whether they are men or women. We dont't know nationalities.'

Civil aviation officials said the small aircraft was chartered by oil company ENI, which is based in Italy. The nationalities of those killed were not immediately available.

Small jet crashes in Pakistan