The Philippine Red Cross confirmed the deaths of medical workers bound for Japan. (MIAA Media Affairs Office)

A medical evacuation plane has exploded during take-off in the Philippine capital, killing all eight passengers and crew, including an American and a Canadian.

The Filipino-flagged Lionair plane was bound for Tokyo on a medical mission when it caught fire near the end of the main runway, Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) manager Ed Monreal said.

“Unfortunately, there were no survivors,” Mr Monreal told a late-night news conference.

He said Lionair did not confirm whether or not the medical evacuation was related to coronavirus.

Video footage showed a huge plume of smoke rising into the night sky as fire crews doused the fuselage with foam.

“Our fire and medic teams were already dispatched to NAIA Terminal 2 to respond to the plane crash incident involving Lion Air Flight RPC 5880,” tweeted Richard J Gordon, chair of the Philippine Red Cross.