Four people were hospitalized after a passenger plane crashed on takeoff at an airport near the capital of Armenia, early on Thursday, a spokesperson for the country's civilian aviation authority said. The Canadian-built CRJ-100 was heading for Minsk with 18 passengers and three crew members on board when it slid off the runway at the Zvarnots Airport, about 10 km (six miles) west of Yerevan, one wing hitting the ground, the aircraft splitting into two parts and catching fire. The accident took place at 4:15 a.m. (00:15 a.m. GMT). "All the passengers and crew were rescued from the blazing plane," Belavia spokesperson said. The representative said most of those injured in the crash had received medical assistance on the spot. Sixteen of the people on board were reported to be Armenians. The nationality of the others has yet to be announced. The aircraft belongs to the Belarusian state-owned airline, Belavia. Specialists from the airline are on their way to the crash site along with Belarusian Transport Ministry representatives, RIA Novosti reports.
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