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No Chinese reportedly on crashed flight: diplomat
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16:11, August 10, 2007

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No Chinese so far were reportedly on board the Air Moorea plane which crashed into a lagoon on the Tahitian island of Moorea, a tourist destination of French Polynesia, official of Chinese consulate in Pape'ete, the capital, said Friday.

Consul Chang Dongyue told Xinhua that "from all sources available, there were no Chinese people on the flight."

The bodies of 16 passengers have been recovered after the plane crashed into the sea soon after take-off from Moorea Friday afternoon local time. The authorities are still looking for the bodies of the others. It is believed no one has survived.

According to Oceania Flash, a local media, among the passengers were three foreign tourists, including Australian and American tourists, as well as two officials from the European Commission's Pacific delegation.

About 20 people (including the pilot) were believed to be aboard the Air Moorea Twin Otter turboprop aircraft.

Officials said the crash took place at around 12:15 p.m. local time (2215 GMT) on Thursday when the flight was bound for Tahiti.

A sudden engine failure has been mentioned locally as one possible cause of the crash. A spokesman for Air Traffic Services in Tahiti said the plane went down in good weather.

French Polynesia's President Gaston Tong Sang has traveled by helicopter to the crash site with two other cabinet members.

French Polynesia is a sprawling possession of France in the Pacific Ocean, made up of 118 volcanic and coral islands and atolls.

Source: Xinhua



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