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Wed, Jun 09, 2004

Commercial Flight Down Off African Coast

30 On Board, Ten Rescued

A twin-engine prop aircraft of undetermined type crashed Tuesday in the African nation of Gabon, killing at least 14 of the 30 people on board.

Initial reports from the scene, near Libreville (the capital of Gabon), said the aircraft was operated by Gabon Express. It had reportedly just taken off from Libreville on the way to Franceville when it went down about 50 yards off the Gabon coast.

Local radio reports said the crew experienced some sort of technical problem just after take-off and was trying to return to the airport when it went down.

Ten people were rescued from the water. Fourteen bodies have been recovered so far. As darkness fell over Libreville, recovery crews were trying to attach a cable to the aircraft wreckage so it could be pulled to shore.

FMI: www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/gb.html

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