Five killed in Belgium plane crash
Three children and two adults were among those killed in the accident. They were all from the same family, reported AFP news agency.
"There was a problem on takeoff and they tried to come back, but unfortunately the plane crashed," said Melissa Milioto, an airport spokeswoman.
The plane was reduced to a wreck of twisted metal, with only the tail still visible, TV images showed. The causes of the crash remain unknown, but media reports say that weather conditions and visibility were poor at the time of takeoff.
The passengers onboard are thought to be from Uccle, a municipality south of Brussels.
Belgian authorities said the airport would be closed until at least 14:30 local time (13:30 GMT). Several flights were cancelled, with another handful of flights delayed.
"Our priority is dealing with this drama. Flights are being diverted to Liege and Brussels," stressed Milioto.
Charleroi airport, also known as Brussels South Charleroi, is Belgium's second international airport after Brussels' Zaventem airport and expects to handle 140,000 passengers over the half-term holiday period.
A police photographer inspects the scene of a tourist plane crash at Charleroi airport February 9, 2013 (Reuters / Sebastien Pirlet)
Rescuers gather around the crashed Cessna passenger plane at Brussels South airport in Charleroi, on February 9, 2013 (AFP Photo / Belga / Virginie Lefour)
Passengers await at the airport after a Cessna passenger plane crashed on February 9, 2013 at Brussels South airport in Charleroi (AFP Photo / Belga / Bruno Fahy)
An information screen displays delayed and cancelled flights at the airport after a Cessna passenger plane crashed on February 9, 2013 at Brussels South airport in Charleroi (AFP Photo / Belga / Bruno Fahy)