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Angolan gov't says 17 die, 6 survive in air crash

(Xinhua)

10:45, September 16, 2011

LUANDA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Angolan government announced on Thursday in a communique that 17 people were killed and six people survived in Wednesday's crash of an Angolan air force plane in the central city of Huambo.

The death toll issued by the government contradicts preliminary press reports that at least 30 people died after the Embraer-120 aircraft crashed soon after it took off from Huambo en route for the capital Luanda about 600 km to the northwest.

The source said, the airplane crashed at about 11:30 at Albano Machado airport, in Huambo, with a military delegation on board.

Among the killed were Lieutenant-Generals Bernardo Leitao Francisco Diogo and Elias Malungo Bravo da Costa Pedro, brigadier Demosthenes Katata and other senior army officers, according to the communique. Six civilians, including two women and two children also died in the crash.

However, the crew survived the accident, including captain Lino Calue, co-pilot Ibraim Navidade, flight engineer Gomes de Almeida, and flight assistant Celma Ventura, sergeant Joao Gomes, and an unidentified civilian, and they were taken to the military hospital in the province for emergency treatment.

People in the front of the aircraft survived but those passengers in the back died as that section caught fire as the plane broke into two pieces upon impact, Angolan officials said.

The Angolan government and the military are further probing into the crash, the worst air disaster in recent memory in the African country.

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