Twenty-four dead in Venezuela DC-3 crash.
Web posted: 25 January 2001, 9:25pm EST (0225 GMT)
The Douglas DC-3 is a twin-engine propeller driven aircraft. (Photo: Glenn Alderton)
An airplane carrying American and European tourists crashed Thursday into a neighborhood in a southern Venezuelan city, killing all 24 people on board, officials said.
Rutaca Flight 224 crashed in the evening shortly after taking off from Ciudad Bolivar, said Victor Arauja, a pilot for the airline Rutaca. The cause of the crash of the DC-3 aircraft wasn't immediately known.
There were no survivors, Arauja told The Associated Press.
The plane reportedly went down in a neighborhood, Arauja said. Firefighters extinguished a blaze at the crash site, Globovision television said. Two children on the ground sustained burn injuries, said Angel Rangel, director of Venezuela's national civil defense agency.
Among the passengers were six Americans, five Dutch nationals and five Italians, according to a passenger list provided to Globovision Television by officials at the Ciudad Bolivar airport. The nationalities of the other four were not announced. All four Venezuelan crew members died, Arauja said.
The identities and hometowns of the dead were not immediately known. Officials had recovered bodies from the wreckage and taken them to a morgue in Ciudad Bolivar, where authorities were trying to contact foreign embassies, TV Guayana reported.
The flight - headed from Canaima in southern Bolivar state to Por La Mar in the country's northeast - had landed in Ciudad Bolivar for refueling before the crash, said Hernan Guevara, a director at the city's airport quoted by Globovision television.
Rutaca is a cargo and passenger carrier based in Ciudad Bolivar, about 335 miles southeast of Caracas, Venezuela's capital, Globovision reported.