Three lawmakers, mayor killed in small plane crash in S Mexico

11:20, September 04, 2010      

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At least seven people, including three federal lawmakers, one mayor and one mayor-elect, were killed on Friday when a Cesna light aircraft crashed at the airport of Bahias de Huatulco, a resort town in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA) said on Friday.

The lawmakers were from the ruling National Action Party, while the mayor was from Juquila, a municipality of Oaxaca state. The victims also included Huatulco's mayor-elect, the pilot and a civilian, according to local media reports.

Oaxaca's Public Security Director Javier Rueda confirmed the seven deaths, but the exact number of people onboard the plane remained unclear.

According to local daily newspaper "La Jornada," the plane took off from Toluca international airport in the central state of Mexico at 8:30 a.m. local time, with its passengers scheduled to attend a conference in Huatulco organized by a U.S. non- governmental organization.

Oaxaca's Prosecutor Maria de la Luz Candelaria said that the privately-owned light aircraft crashed at 11:30 a.m. local time ( 1630 GMT) when it was about to land in Huatulco.

Rescue teams rushed to the scene and found that the accident was probably caused by a failure in the plane's landing gear, as well as the poor weather conditions at the airport, as a tropical wave was affecting Oaxaca state.

But Rueda said the exact cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, Mexican President Felipe Calderon wrote in his Twitter micro-blog that he "deeply regrets the death of the deputies, of Juquila's mayor, the pilot and the other persons."



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