Three killed in freight plane accident in Colombia

July 8th, 2008 - 7:48 am ICT by IANS  

Bogota, July 8 (DPA) At least three people were killed and eight injured Monday in Colombia when a US freight aeroplane crashed, authorities said. Coronel Fabio Castaneda, police commander in the Colombian province of Cundinamarca, said the plane - which had taken off from Eldorado airport in Bogota, crashed in a rural area near the town of Madrid, close to the Colombian capital. It crashed on a house that was destroyed.

“The eight members of the plane’s crew, all of them foreigners, were injured, while two people who were on land were killed, including a minor, aged 14,” Castaneda said.

Coronel Mader Lujan, director of the Central Police Clinic in Bogota, said one of the injured died later.

Coronel Donald Tascon, director of Civil Aviation in Colombia, said the pilot told the control tower that one of its engines had caught fire and that he had decided to return to the airport. However, he did not make it.

The plane was completely destroyed, and it took the fire department several hours to put out the fire caused by the accident.

“Around 6 am US citizens started to come into the hospital,” Lujan said. “They all had multiple injuries, and some of them had more serious injuries. Only one patient is in critical condition.”

Laura Linares, a nurse with the Colombian Air Force (FAC), said the cockpit was severed from the rest of the body of the plane. The crew were trapped in the cockpit, and were later rescued by FAC personnel.

“I could say they saved their lives by a miracle, given that the plane was completely destroyed,” she told Colombia’s Caracol Radio.

Police cordoned off the area and found one of two flight recorders.

The plane had come in from Brazil and had made a technical stopover in Bogota.

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