Eleven killed as U.N. plane crashes in Haiti

October 10th, 2009 - 12:34 pm ICT by BNO News  

HAITI (BNO NEWS) – Eleven people were killed on Friday when the plane they were on crashed into a mountain in western Haiti, officials told BNO News.

Eleven peacekeepers were on board the aircraft when it crashed into a mountain near the isolated town of Fond Verrettes. The aircraft was an Uruguayan surveillance plane assigned to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, according to Dylan Lowthian, a spokesman for the United Nations.

A rescue team was immediately sent by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) after the crash, which happened around noon local time. The scene of the accident was secured by U.N. police, according to a statement from MINUSTAH.

The aircraft which carried the victims was a CASA 212 reconnaissance flight. “MINUSTAH sends its deepest condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of those peacekeepers who lost their lives in service for peace in Haiti,” the statement read. The bodies of the victims, which include Uruguayan and Jordanian military officers, were recovered and transported to Port-au-Prince.

The cause of the crash is not yet known and an investigation is currently underway.

MINUSTAH has been in place in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, since mid-2004 after the then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile amid violent unrest. Currently there are more than 9,000 military and police personnel deployed and nearly 2,000 civilian staff.

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