Investigators find black box at Mexican plane crash site (Lead)

November 6th, 2008 - 6:38 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, Nov 6 (DPA) Investigators have found the black box data recorder from the plane that crashed a day earlier killing Mexican Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino and at least 13 others, Transport Minister Luis Tellez said Wednesday.The death toll in the accident, which took place in Mexico City, rose to 13. Ten people were still in hospital.

Mourino, one of President Felipe Calderon’s closest advisors, a top presidential security advisor and three other officials were among the dead.

“At no time did the plane make an emergency call, a call that was out of order or a report that might have suggested or led to the assumption that the plane was in trouble,” said civil aviation official Augustin Arellano Rodriguez.

The authorities were trying to determine the cause of the crash and ruled out sabotage or a possible attack.

“I would like to stress that so far no indications have been detected that allow us to formulate hypotheses different from an accident. But we will investigate until we rule out all possibilities,” minister Tellez said, adding that weather conditions were good at the time of the crash.

Experts from the US and Britain were to join the investigation, which could take several weeks.

The Lear Jet 45 airplane crashed at 6.45 p.m. (0045 GMT Wednesday) in Mexico City. The explosion set several vehicles - parked and moving - on fire, although the plane crashed into the ground without hitting any buildings.

According to the control tower, the small plane had been approaching the Mexico City airport normally until it lost contact with air control personnel.

A total of 40 people were injured in the crash. Of the 10 remaining in hospital, four were reported to be in serious condition, with 40-70 percent burn injuries.

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