Seven feared dead as Airbus A320 crashes into sea

November 28th, 2008 - 5:56 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, Nov 28 (DPA) Three people died and four were missing and feared dead in the crash Thursday of an Airbus A-320 jet into the Mediterranean Sea during a maintenance flight.The aircraft plunged into waters just off the French coast after taking off in late afternoon with a crew of seven from Perpignan, France, where the plane was being overhauled.

The plane belonged to the German carrier XL Airways and had been leased from Air New Zealand.

It was to have been returned to Air New Zealand in the coming days following completion of the maintenance work, a spokesman for XL Airways said.

At least two of the crew were German. Three bodies have been recovered from the water.

French Navy boats, planes and a helicopter were continuing to search for survivors, but a spokesman for the French Coast Guard said that it was very unlikely that anyone had survived the crash.

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