At least six people died Wednesday aboard an air ambulance that exploded for as yet undetermined reasons when it was about to land at the Villavicencio airport in the central Colombian province of Meta.

According to the director of Civil Aviation in Meta, Cesar Robayo, the aircraft had taken off from Bogota and was heading for Araracuara, a small jungle enclave between the southern provinces of Caqueta and Amazonas.

"Over Villavicencio, a mechanical failure was reported and (the pilot) asked permission to land on the runway, and more or less half a mile from (it)" the plane crashed and exploded leaving "no survivors," Robayo told RCN La Radio.

The aircraft had departed very early in the morning from Bogota and the crash occurred about 6:35 a.m.

On board the plane owned by Aereas de Colombia were the pilot, copilot, a doctor, an assistant, a nurse and relative, and authorities are trying to determine if there were more passengers. EFE