An American Airlines plane from Miami carrying about 150 people crashed Wednesday night as it was making its final descent toward the Cali airport in southwestern Colombia, radio reports said.
Residents said they saw a large explosion in the Andes mountains outside Cali.
Civil aviation authorities said 145 passengers and eight crew were aboard the Boeing 757 aircraft.
Flight 965 was flying over Buga, a town about 40 miles north of Cali, when it lost radio contact, officials said. Police said they received telephone calls from people in the area reporting an explosion.
Radio Caracol quoted a witness, Carlos Buitrago, as saying he saw the plane and then a huge fireball, apparently after it crashed.
More than three hours after the plane’s scheduled 9:45 p.m. arrival there was still no official word on the aircraft’s fate.
Local authorities declared an emergency and launched a search in the area where the plane disappeared, about 185 miles southwest of the capital Bogota.