Plane Slams Into Brazilian Slum; at Least 18 Killed
A Transbrasil Boeing 707 cargo plane slammed into an apartment house and then into a crowded shantytown slum today in a crash that officials said killed at least 18 people and injured up to 200 others.
The plane crashed about one mile from Sao Paulo International Airport, doctors at the scene said.
They said the plane’s crew of three and at least 15 people on the ground were killed and dozens more injured. Television reports said up to 200 were hurt.
“There was an explosion and a lot of smoke. I could feel the heat in my house (130 feet) away from the crash,” said local resident Maria Idalina.
At the crash scene, the jet’s tail was intact. But the rest of the Boeing 707 was just scattered wreckage among the remains of eight houses and many shantytown shacks.
Rescuers at the scene said they pulled children alive from the wreckage. “But there are many dead,” said one.
Television reports said doctors had operated on a pregnant woman killed in the crash and managed to save her child.
Boxes of television sets, radios and toys, some undamaged, lay on the ground. The plane had been carrying goods from factories in a manufacturing zone that the government has set up in the Amazon town of Manaus.
An official of the private Transbrasil airline said the plane had been regularly serviced with the help of Boeing technicians.
Airport officials said the pilot of the Transbrasil plane on a flight from Manaus radioed the control tower just before the crash requesting an emergency landing, but they did not know why.