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Wed, Aug 24, 2005

Aero-News Alert: Peruvian Airliner Down

"A Dantesque Scene"

ANN REALTIME Update, 08.24.05, 0011 EDT: Fatality estimates now range as high as 60 people in the second crash of a TANS airframe in as many years. Survivor estiamtes now range form 20 to 30 people. Two and a half years ago, a TANS Fokker F-28 went down near the northern jungle city of Chachapoyas, killing 46, in January of 2003. TANS currently flies Boeing 737-200s to six cities.

Original Report: As many as 70 passengers are feared dead in Tuesday's crash of an airliner in the jungles of northeastern Peru, the fifth crash worldwide of a commercial airliner this month.

The 737-200 aircraft, flying for the state-run airline TANS, is believed to have been carrying 93 passengers and seven crew members enroute to the northern city of Iquitos. The plane had encountered heavy storms and appears to have been attempting an emergency landing at the Amazon city of Pucallpa. The crash occurred within three miles of that city's airport.

According to survivor Tomas Ruiz, the aircraft "was moving too much because of the weather" during the minutes leading up to the crash.

"Preliminary information shows that the accident was caused by a crosswind at the moment of landing," said TANS spokesman Jorge Belevan. "Although the pilots are as skilled as they can be, unfortunately, the plane was lost."

Police officer Arioso Obregon described the destruction at the crash site as "a Dantesque scene." Witnesses report as many as 40 bodies have been pulled from the crash scene, many of them children.

It is the sixth crash for TANS since 1992. The airline was founded by the Peruvian air force in 1960, and began commercial operations in 1998.

Stay logged on to Aero-News Network for continuing updates as new information becomes available.



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