A SMALL plane exploded soon after takeoff from the eastern French city of Besancon early today, killing four people.
The blast killed the two pilots and two surgeons who had been heading for a liver removal operation in the city - twinned with Huddersfield.
The plane crashed after the explosion 1,000 feet from the end of the runway of Besancon airport, according to the regional emergency situations department. The reason for the explosion was unclear.
All four people aboard were killed, and the bodies were recovered.
The two surgeons had been heading to a hospital in Amiens in northern France to remove a patient's liver for a transplant operation.