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Seven killed in Bogota plane crash

world Updated: Oct 13, 2007 09:36 IST

At least seven people, including two on the ground, were killed when a small private plane crashed shortly after take-off from Bogota's El Dorado airport, the Spanish news agency

EFE

said quoting officials.

The Cessna aircraft was travelling toward the city of Leticia - capital of the far-southern province of Amazonas, which borders Brazil - but crashed around 8 pm on Thursday (0100 GMT Friday) in the densely populated working-class district of Fontibon on the west side of Bogota.

The plane, which apparently had suffered engine failure, collided with four houses and burst into flames.

Martin Gonzalez, a spokesman for Colombia's Civil Aviation department, said the aircraft was an "air ambulance plane with five occupants" that was travelling the "Bogota-Leticia route".

Although initial reports had only indicated the death of the pilot, fire-fighters chief Capt Mauricio Toro told CM& television that the co-pilot, two doctors and a nurse on board the plane also perished and that two inhabitants of one of the houses were killed in the crash.

The aircraft, which was the property of the Riosur company, was completely destroyed.

Witnesses said the plane was making a noise indicating it was suffering from engine failure and that apparently the pilot steered away from heavily populated zones in attempting an emergency landing.

Toro said all of the houses struck by the aircraft were being searched for more possible victims.