Farmer Ibrahim Mohamed said the plane went down near his home, scattering debris around his hut.
South Sudan, the world’s newest country, is in the midst of a brutal and drawn-out civil war, which began shortly after the country formed in 2011.
The Associated Press reports that one of its reporters at the scene of the crash saw bodies, including those of women and children.
Ateny said it wasn’t clear yet who owns the aircraft that crashed.
A radio station reported the crash on Twitter, saying it happened about 800 metres (half a mile) from Juba airport.
Ukraine-based Antonov said in a statement that the “An-12B was is no state to fly because it failed to undergo timely technical servicing … that should have included work on extending its resources and exploitation timeframe”. While rescue workers said 36 people had been killed in the crash, a Reuters witness saw 41 bodies. There are speculation that the plane may have had about 20 people on board, including crew and about 10 to 15 passengers. “The speculation that this plane was brought down by a missile is off the table”, the official said. Dozens of Armenians have worked for domestic and foreign airlines carrying out flights there ever since the Soviet collapse, which left many of them without permanent jobs.
An unknown number of people were killed on the ground as the plane crashed near where a few fishermen were working.
The Antonov-12 loaded with foodstuffs was bound for the South Sudanese town of Paloch, in an area of oil fields in the north of the country.
It also said two people survived, one of them a child.
“This is the number given to us by the [control] tower”, presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Reuters.
Many parts of South Sudan, which became an independent nation in 2011, have been hit by violence since December 2013, with government forces under Salva Kiir battling rebels led by his former deputy, Riek Machar. “It was just chartered for goods”.
It will be the first conference organized by the SPLM-IO leadership since the signing of the peace agreement in August.