updated 10/10/2006 3:58:35 AM ET 2006-10-10T07:58:35

Rescuers pulled 13 people from a plane that caught fire and skidded off the runway at a western Norway airport Tuesday, but three passengers were missing, rescue officials said.

Einar Knutsen, of the Rescue Coordination Center for Southern Norway, said 13 of those aboard had been rescued alive, but their condition was not immediately known. Rescuers were searching for the three others.

The plane had taken off from the southwestern Norway Sola Airport, near Stavanger, and caught fire upon landing at the Stord Airport, said Anders Bang-Andersen, of the Norwegian Rescue Center.

Bang-Andersen said all available rescue personnel were at the crash site.

Photographs posted on the Internet sites of Norwegian newspapers showed a ball of fire and clouds of smoke coming from end of the runway.

The charter plane was operated by Atlantic Airways, of the Faeroe Islands, a company spokeswoman said. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

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