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Eight die in Brazilian plane crash

At least eight people were killed and two injured when an executive jet crashes into a house in a residential neighbourhood in this Brazilian city, say officials.

world Updated: Nov 05, 2007 12:39 IST

At least eight people were killed and two injured when an executive jet crashed into a house in a residential neighbourhood in this Brazilian city, officials said.

The plane had taken off on Sunday minutes before from the Campo de Marte, an airport for executive aircraft in Brazil's largest city, and it crashed into a two-story home in Casa Verde, a northern Sao Paulo neighbourhood about half a kilometre from the runway, the Spanish news agency EFE said.

According to reports, the plane, having a capacity of eight, had just the pilot and co-pilot on board -- both killed in the crash.

The other victims were members of the family who lived in the house the plane came down on. Evidently, eight of the 12 family members were at home at the time.

In addition to removing eight bodies from the ruins of the home, fire fighters managed to rescue alive a 30-year-old woman with burns over 30 per cent of her body and an 11-year-old girl, also with burns, who were rushed to nearby hospitals.

The bodies removed from the wreckage included those of four men, two women, a baby about nine months old and an unidentified body.

The Learjet 35 belonging to the firm Reali Taxi Aereo was en route to Rio de Janeiro when it went down at about 2:20 pm (1620 GMT), the Infraero state airport management agency said.

In addition to the home that was completely destroyed in the crash, some nearby residences sustained damage, mainly to their roofs.

So far there is no information about the cause of the accident, and Infraero said that although it was raining at the time of the mishap no flight restrictions had been issued on account of the weather.

Some witnesses said that the plane plunged practically straight down onto the house and when it hit, there was a large explosion followed by a fire.

They also said that the pilot managed to manoeuvre the aircraft in the last moments before impact so that it did not hit a nearby multi-story building.

Sao Paulo's emergency services Chief Col Jair Paca de Lima said that at least three homes will be temporarily seized by authorities while engineers evaluate safety factors for the families living there.

Last Monday, also in adverse weather conditions, three helicopters crashed in Sao Paulo state in a period of just two hours leaving three people dead.

Five days before that, an air force plane crashed because of mechanical problems in the city of Pirassununga, 213 kms north of Sao Paulo, in an accident in which there were no casualties.

In July, in Brazil's worst air tragedy, at least 199 people died when a TAM airlines passenger jet crashed into a warehouse near Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport.

First Published: Nov 05, 2007 12:32 IST