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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Columbian jet crashes in Venezuela

--posted by Tony Garcia on 8/16/2005

About an hour ago CNN reported that another passenger jet has crashed. This one was a Columbian jet that went down in western Venezuela. It was en route from Panama City to Martinique.
BOGOTA, Colombia (CNN) -- A Colombian airliner carrying 160 people crashed Tuesday in a remote area of western Venezuela, aviation officials said.

No survivors have been found.

A spokeswoman for West Caribbean Airways, based in Medellin, Colombia, told CNN there were 152 passengers and eight crew members on board, making it the deadliest plane crash in Venezuela's history.

The MD-82 aircraft left Tocumen International Airport south of Panama City around 1 a.m. local time, headed for Fort de France, Martinique, according to Panamanian aviation officials.

Most of the passengers were from Martinique, according to civil aeronautics officials in Colombia, and the crew was Colombian.

The flight had been chartered by tourists in Martinique, a French possession in the Caribbean.

Venezuelan officials said the jetliner's pilots reported engine problems shortly before contact was lost with the aircraft around 3 a.m. ET.

Tomas Paredes with Panama's aviation agency told CNN in a phone interview the pilots had asked to descend from 31,000 feet to 14,000 feet because both engines were having problems.

That was the last communication from the aircraft, Paredes said.


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