Small plane crashes into Ecuador building; 5 dead | world | Hindustan Times
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Small plane crashes into Ecuador building; 5 dead

world Updated: Mar 20, 2009 08:31 IST

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A small army plane crashed into an apartment building in an upscale neighborhood of Ecuador's capital, killing five people, firefighters said.

Black smoke poured from the four-story building on Quito's north side last night as rescuers searched for victims and survivors.

Quito fire chief Atahualpa Sanchez said emergency crews recovered the bodies of five victims, at least three of them dressed in military uniforms.

Sanchez said the bodies were badly burned, but did not give more details about the victims. Rescuers evacuated an unspecified number of injured people in stable condition, he added.

Associated Press journalists at the scene saw rescuers carry off a young girl whose head was bloodied.

The aircraft was a Beechcraft army plane on a training run carrying a major, a lieutenant and a sergeant, Defence Minister Javier Ponce said earlier. He said at least one civilian was killed.

A thick mist shrouded the neighborhood at the time of the crash, according to witness Eric Samson, who saw the aircraft slam into the side of the building, on Thursday.

Soon after, explosions could be heard from inside.

"It was horrible. I heard the plane flying very low, then I heard the explosion," neighbor Camille Avsert told the AP.