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16 killed in French Polynesia plane crash

The bodies of 16 passengers have been recovered after a plane crash in French Polynesia, the French High Commission and emergency services confirm.

world Updated: Aug 10, 2007 13:01 IST
Xinhua

The bodies of 16 passengers have been recovered after a plane crash in French Polynesia, the French High Commission and emergency services in French Polynesia confirmed.

About 20 people, including the pilot, were believed to be aboard the Air Moorea Twin Otter turboprop aircraft.

According to Oceania Flash, a local media, the passengers included three foreign tourists whose nationality and identity have not been established, as well as two officials from the European Commission's Pacific delegation.

Officials said the plane crashed into the sea soon after it took off from Moorea, French Polynesia. The flight was bound for Tahiti, 17 km away, at around 22.15 GMT on Thursday.

A spokesman for Air Traffic Services in Tahiti said the plane went down in good weather and the cause of the crash is not known.

Emergency services deployed on the crash site, including several vessels from the French Navy and two helicopters, are continuing the underwater search for bodies of passengers who have not yet been accounted for.

French Polynesia is a sprawling possession of France in the Pacific Ocean, made up of 118 volcanic and coral islands and atolls. Moorea is one of French Polynesia's premier tourist destinations.