Wreckage of Venezuelan airliner spotted

February 22nd, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by admin  

Buenos Aires/Caracas, Feb 22 (DPA) Rescuers have located the Venezuelan airliner that crashed in a mountainous jungle area with 46 people on board in northern Venezuela, authorities said Friday. Antonio Rivero, national director of civil defence, said rescuers had identified the site of the crash in the southwestern state of Merida.

“We don’t yet know the condition of the passengers or crew,” he said, adding that the darkness had fallen and hindered the search and rescue effort.

Regional civil defence chief Gerardo Rojas said the crash site was located high in the Andes Mountains.

“We have information from local police of the probable site at Paramo de Mucuchies, in the sector of Collao del Condor, Paramo Piedra Blanca, some 4,750 metres above sea level, near the Laguna de la Perlada,” Rojas said.

The twin-engine Santa Barbara Airlines ATR-42 propeller plane reportedly disappeared from radar screens during a Venezuelan domestic flight from Merida to Maiquetia.

There were no radio communications from the plane after it vanished about 40 minutes into the scheduled two-hour trip.

Major aeroplane accidents have been increasing in Latin America. According to statistics published by industry journal Aero International, more than a quarter of worldwide air transportation deaths occur in Latin America.

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