15 people killed, 33 injured in Venezuela's plane accident

08:11, September 14, 2010      

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Rescuers work at the site after an ATR-42 model aircraft of Venezuela's state-owned Conviasa airline crashed soon after taking off from Puerto Ordaz in the state of Bolivar, Venezuela, Sept. 13, 2010. Bolivar Governor Francisco Rangel told media that medical teams were treating 23 people who had survived the crash. There were 43 passengers and four crew members on board, and no casualties on the ground have been reported. (Xinhua)

At least 15 people died and 33 more were injured on Monday when a plane of state-run Coviasa airline crashed in Guayana city, Bolivar state, in the southeastern of Venezuela, authorities said.

Transportation and Communication Minister Francisco Garces and Bolivar state's governor Francisco Rangel Gomez confirmed in a joint statement.

Rangel said that aboard the plane there were 51 people, including 47 passengers and four crew members. He also said that from the total of people aboard there are four missing people, so the authorities are working in the place of the accident to find them.

Rangel stressed the "immediate intervention" of the regional authorities which allowed rescuing 33 passenger alive and taking them on time to different hospitals to receive medical attention.

"A total of 33 people are being cared for at different clinics, " Rangel said and added that "we have 14 bodies that are being identified and we are searching for four people" in the wreckage of the aircraft, he added.

Meanwhile, Garces said that thanks to the "intervention on time of the authorities, the rescuers rescued a large number of people alive"

Earlier Garces had confirmed the plane crash, which came down near Manuel Carlos Airport close to Ciudad Guayana in the state of Bolivar.

The ATR-42 model aircraft, heading to tourist resort Margarita Island, plunged into the scrap yard of Orinico Steelmaking Company (Sidor) at 10:30 a.m. local time (1500 GMT) soon after taking off from Puerto Ordaz, in Bolivar.

Rangel said that to the moment the causes of the accident are unknown. However, the pilot had made contact with the control tower reporting problems in operating the plane. This report allowed the authorities to be ready for the accident and arrive on time to the place.

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