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Plane Crash in Mexico Leaves at Least 17 Dead

United Press International

A small passenger plane crashed in the western state of Michoacan on Wednesday and at least 17 people were feared dead, aviation officials said.

Jose Alberto Zamora, commander of the Uruapan airport, said a Brazilian-made XC-COX aircraft, crashed near Cerro de la Calera, about 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean, about an hour after it took off.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

Zamora said that the plane, which belonged to the recently established state-owned Transporte Aero Federal, departed at 9:54 a.m. local time from Uruapan, about 140 miles northwest of Mexico City, and was heading to Lazaro Cardenas, 200 miles southwest of the Mexican capital.

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“We don’t know if there are any survivors,” Zamora said.

Mexican reporters quoted government officials as saying that as many as 20 passengers were aboard the plane and that all of them died in the accident. Other reports said there were 17 passengers on the aircraft.

The Mexican military and transport police rushed to the scene but because of poor weather conditions were unable to begin rescue operations in the rugged region.


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