Plane crashes in Amazon, at least 16 feared dead | world | Hindustan Times
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Plane crashes in Amazon, at least 16 feared dead

world Updated: Feb 08, 2009 08:36 IST

AP
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A small plane headed to the jungle city of Manaus crashed in Brazil's Amazon with at least 20 people on board, and at least 16 were missing and feared dead, officials have said.

Four people survived, and local media reported that divers had found six bodies by nightfall.

The plane was being used as an "air taxi" to ferry passengers between cities in the thick jungle when it crashed in the Manacapuru river yesterday about 80 km southwest of Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, a state government spokesman said.

Authorities said 20 people were on board, but some Brazilian media outlets put the number at 24.

Rescuers found four people who escaped without major injuries from the plane, said the spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.

Divers discovered the bodies of six people inside the submerged plane and believed they would find more when they search again, fire department Lt Col Dinanci Almeida told the UOL Noticias news Website.

Survivors told authorities they saw one of the plane's motors stop, Daniel Guedes, a police official in the city of Manacapuru near the crash site, told the Internet news portal Terra.

Guedes told Terra the plane had left the city of Coari, 360 km southwest of Manaus.