Beijing, China (CNN) -- Three American crew members died when a Zimbabwean cargo plane crashed early Saturday at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said.
The embassy said one of the injured crew members was also an American.
The crash happened at about 8:15 a.m. (7:15 p.m. ET Friday) during takeoff in Shanghai, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. The plane was destined for Harare, Zimbabwe, said the agency. The NTSB is sending an investigation team to site of the accident.
Four other people on the plane were seriously injured, and the cause of the crash is not yet known, the NTSB said.
Earlier, China's official Xinhua news agency reported that the plane was on its way to Kyrgyzstan and caught fire on takeoff. Thick smoke was seen billowing from the crash site.