Plane crashes after take-off in Malta

Rescue services at the scene of a light aircraft crash at the airport in Valletta. (Reuters)

A small passenger aircraft crashed on takeoff at Malta's international airport on Monday, killing all five people onboard, officials said.

In a statement, the airport said the aircraft, a Fairchild Metroliner turboprop, was involved in an accident "upon takeoff."

"We can confirm that the five crew on board are deceased," it said, adding that the airport was closed until further notice and an investigation was underway.

Early media reports said the plane had been chartered by the European Union's border control agency, Frontex, for a flight to Libya.

Frontex issued a swift denial, and the EU's foreign policy representative, Federica Mogherini, said no European official had been onboard.

"No #EU officials involved in plane crash in #Malta. The flight was not related to any of the EU activities," said Mogherini in a tweet.