Over 153 people were feared dead when a passenger plane crashed into a residential building shortly after takeoff in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos on Sunday.

The pilot was attempting to return to the airport after he noticed a glitch in the aircraft.

The aircraft, belonging to Dana Air, crashed into a building in the Iju neighbourhood and caught fire immediately, sending plumes of thick black smoke into the air. Emergency services, including fire fighters, rushed to the area.

Harold Demureen, head of the oil-rich African country's Civil Aviation Authority, said he believed there was little chance of finding any survivor in the crash.

Besides the 153 passengers and crew on the plane, residents of the building may add to the number of persons killed or injured in the crash.

The aircraft had a full load of fuel for its hour-long flight to the capital, Abuja, which led to the massive fire.

This Day newspaper quoted its sources as saying the pilot informed the control tower that he needed to return to the airport after noticing something was wrong with the aircraft during takeoff.

The actual number of the dead was not clear immediately because the tragedy occurred in a residential area.

Nigeria witnessed a number of plane crashes in 2005 and 2006 that led to stricter controls in the aviation sector.

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