Former governor of Pernambuco state and Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Eduardo Campos
Eduardo Campos was a former governor of Pernambuco state and the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate.Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

A private jet carrying Brazil's socialist presidential candidate Eduardo Campos has crashed in Santos, Sao Paulo killing him along with his wife and children, according to reports.

The plane, a Cessna 560XL, lost contact with air traffic control as it was preparing to land. It crashed in built-up area of the port city of Santos. Reports say the plane fell near a school.

Officials from the PSD party of Campos confirmed that he was on the plane. Police said there were "certainly" fatalities in the crash but did not give further information, according to Reuters.

The fire service said there were at least 10 casualties.

A former governor of Pernambuco state, Campos, 49, was running third in polls ahead of Brazil's October presidential election. He positioned himself as a business-friendly leftist and was a former ally of President Dilma Rousseff.

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Video captured at the scene of the plane crash.Ernesto Donizete da Silva