The plane was landing on Monday in Wau in the country’s north west, but then crashed, said Wau’s Acting Airport Manager Stephen Youngule.
“The plane touched down and then jumped up again. The pilot couldn’t control it,” said Youngule, who is also Deputy Director of Air Traffic Services.
“I saw it until the very last moment before the fire engulfed the aircraft.”
When the plane crashed, its door flew open, which allowed the pilot and rescue crews to get everybody out, he said. Those with injuries were taken to Wau’s hospital for treatment, said Youngule.
He said the plane, an Antonov 26, carried 44 passengers and had five crew members.
On social media, images appeared of the plane with smoke billowing from the wrecked fuselage.
United Nations peacekeepers worked with local emergency workers to evacuate passengers from the plane, according to David Shearer, head of the UN mission in South Sudan.