A small plane crashed in Brazil's Mato Grosso do Sul state, killing the five people aboard, the air force said Sunday.

The accident occurred Saturday in the Pantanal, an enormous wetland area shared by Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina.

The small plane took off from the airport in Teruel, a city in the Campo Grande metropolitan area, and was heading to a ranch in the Pantanal, the air force said.

The pilot radioed the control tower in Teruel that he was experiencing an emergency.

Rescue teams found the small plane's wreckage and the bodies of the five occupants.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, the air force said in a statement. EFE