All 108 Killed as Airliner Crashes in Southwest China

From Reuters

A Chinese airliner crashed in southwestern China on Monday night, killing all 108 people on board, Chinese airline officials said.

A spokesman said the Soviet-built Ilyushin 18 carried 98 passengers and a crew of 10 and that four of the victims were foreigners--three Japanese and one Briton.

The propeller-driven plane of the Southwest China Airline was flying from Beijing to the city of Chongqing and crashed five miles from the airport at 10.15 p.m., the New China News Agency said. Southwest China Airline is a subsidiary of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the nation's flag carrier.

The disaster was the worst air crash in China since April, 1982, when a British-built Chinese Trident crashed on the way to the southern tourist resort of Guilin, killing all 112 passengers and crew.

Two of the Japanese victims aboard Flight 4146 worked for subsidiaries of Toshiba, the giant electronics firm. A Toshiba spokesman in Beijing identified them as Masato Kuga and Osamu Tanaka and said they were flying to Chongqing on business.

Another Japanese company, Mitsui Trading Corp., said one of its workers, Sumio Kudo, 30, was also killed in the crash.

A British Embassy spokesman said he did not know the identity of the Briton.

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