Rio de Janeiro: A Brazilian Air Force plane crashed in the country's southern region, killing at least five people on board. The plane - a C-98A Grand Caravan model carrying eight people - crashed onto a ravine and exploded in Santa Catarina state.

Five corpses have been found, but there is no information on the whereabouts of the other three occupants of the aircraft.

The plane had taken off from Canoas in Rio Grande do Sul state, and was headed for Rio de Janeiro.

Witnesses said the crash occurred when there was a strong wind blowing in the region.

An air force helicopter was sent to search for the missing people, but had to return due to the wind.

This was the fifth accident involving Brazilian air force planes in 2011.

(Agencies)