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More Than 100 Feared Dead in Crash of Indian Airlines Jet

From Times Wire Services

A domestic Indian airliner with 135 people aboard crashed and burned today on its approach to a fog-shrouded airport in western India, news reports said.

Indian Airlines Flight 113, carrying 129 passengers and six crew members, had departed Bombay at 5:50 a.m. for Ahmadabad, the capital of Gujarat state.

The Press Trust of India quoted fire brigade sources as saying only four people are believed to have survived. An airline spokeswoman, who declined to be identified, said that more than 100 people had died. There was no official casualty toll.

Other details of the early morning crash of the Indian Airlines Boeing 737 were sketchy.

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The Press Trust and government-run All-India Radio said the plane slammed into the ground while approaching the airport in Ahmadabad.

According to an Ahmadabad airport controller, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the plane had begun its approach to the airport when it suddenly went down about one minute before it was due to land.

It exploded on impact, about 3 miles from the runway, he said. Fire apparently immediately engulfed the aircraft.

Authorities did not know the cause of the crash but said the plane was attempting to land in bad weather. Visibility at the airport was poor due to early morning ground fog.

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Ahmadabad, located about 500 miles southwest of the capital of New Delhi, is about 200 miles from the Pakistan border.


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