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59 Die in Romanian Jet Crash

Times Wire Services

A Romanian airliner crashed into a snowy field outside Bucharest minutes after takeoff Friday, killing all 59 people aboard.

Investigators from Airbus Industrie began probing the crash, the worst in the nation’s history.

Tarom airlines had no explanation for the crash but was quick to rule out pilot error. Witnesses reported seeing one or two explosions before the jet went down.

All 49 passengers--mostly Belgians--and 10 crew members died when the Airbus A-310, en route to Brussels, crashed in a sleet storm near the village of Balotesti, just north of Otopeni airport.

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The same flight to Brussels was the subject of a bomb threat on March 15, forcing the Boeing 737 flying the route to divert to the western Romanian city of Timisoara. No device was found.

The victims included three Americans: Terry Chung, a Treasury Department official, and the Rev. Norman Hoyt and his wife, Virginia, both 67, of Columbia, S.C.


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