Breaking news from the BBC
"At least 45 people have been killed after a passenger plane swerved off the runway at Madrid's Barajas airport, Spanish officials say.
Many others were hurt when the Spanair plane bound for Gran Canaria left the runway with 166 passengers and six crew on board, just after 1445 (1245 GMT).
There were reports of a fire in the left engine during take-off. TV footage showed smoke billowing from the craft.
Helicopters and fire trucks were called out to dump water on to the plane.
Dozens of ambulances went to the scene, and TV footage later showed several people being carried away on stretchers.
See satellite image of airport
BBC journalist Stephanie McGovern, who is at the airport, said several planes had been seen taking off since the crash.
But she added that the airport was closed and only emergency crews and staff were being allowed into the building.
"Helicopters are continually heading to the scene, dropping lots of water... The smoke has really died down now, things seem to be more under control," she said.
"I've seen around 50 ambulances. They're still coming and going, so there may still be more casualties."
Spanish journalist Manuel Moleno, who was near the area when the accident happened, told the BBC the plane had "crashed into pieces".
"We heard a big crash. So we stopped and we saw a lot of smoke," he said.
There are conflicting accounts about the number of deaths, with some reports suggesting most of the passengers on the plane may be dead.
Mr Moleno said he had seen as many as 20 people walking away from the wreckage.
The plane, which was destined for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, came down during or shortly after take-off, local media say, quoting aviation authorities.
Witnesses reported that the plane had come to rest in fields near the airport.
"Spanair regrets to confirm that its flight number JK 5022 from Madrid to Las Palmas de Gran Canarias was involved in an accident at Madrid, at 1445 hours local time today," the airline said in a statement.
The aircraft was a MD82, a plane commonly used on short trips around Europe, aviation expert Chris Yates told the BBC.
He said Spanair, a subsidiary of Scandinavian carrier SAS, had a very good safety record. Reports say it was the first crash at Barajas airport, some 13km (8 miles) from central Madrid, since 1983.
People concerned for relatives or friends who may have been on board the plane should call Spanair's helpline on: +34 800 400 200. "
1 Michael Forde
(20. 8. 2008, 23:00 CET)
My condolences go to the families of those that lost their lives in such devastating way
(21. 8. 2008, 05:27 CET)
I understand 153 have died with 19 injured. 10 Crew on board - total 172 on board
(21. 8. 2008, 11:57 CET)
Yep, very bad day indeed
(21. 8. 2008, 16:12 CET)
R.I.P to those who lost their lives.
(21. 8. 2008, 18:17 CET)
Very very bad and sad news, especially for those who loose somebody. My condolences to all those ones.
(24. 8. 2008, 23:49 CET)
My condolences got to all the those aboard flight JK 5022, and their families