Two people died and three others were seriously injured when their small plane crashed and exploded Tuesday just after taking off from the Brazilian city of Manaus, authorities said.

The accident occurred about 6:20 a.m. at the international airport at Manaus, the major city in the Brazilian Amazon region.

The Cessna was scheduled to fly between the capital of the state of Amazonas and Apui, some 453 kilometers (about 281 miles) away.

The aircraft was owned by Apui Taxi Aereo and was able to take off but just seconds later it lost power, plunged to earth and exploded.

The powerful blast, which completely destroyed the plane, instantly killed two of the five occupants but the other three survived, albeit with serious injuries.

The injured were taken to a hospital in Manaus, where their condition is considered to be very delicate.

The Manaus airport was closed to takeoffs and landings after a huge cloud of white smoke covered a large part of the runway, but normal operations resumed shortly thereafter. EFE