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Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 5:03 am

More Aviation Victims

Fri Jan 26, 2001 3:34 pm

A DC-3 airplane crashed Thursday shortly after taking off from Ciudad Bolivar in Venezuela, officials said. All 24 people on board died.

Citing a list it said was provided by Rutaca Airlines, Globovision Television said the passengers included six U.S. citizens, five Dutch nationals, four Italians, two Hungarians, two Venezuelans and one Austrian. All four Venezuelan crew members died.

Two people on the ground were injured in the crash and were taken to a local hospital suffering burns, officials said.

The aircraft, Rutaca Flight 224, crashed near the city of Ciudad Bolivar, according to The Associated Press. The flight has originated at Canaina National Park, officials said.

Victor Arauja, a pilot for Rutaca, told The Associated Press that the airplane crashed at 6:15 p.m. (2215 GMT).

Ciudad Bolivar is about 500 kilometers (335 miles) southeast of Caracas, Venezuela's capital.

Globovision television quoted Hernan Guevara, a director at the Ciudad Bolivar airport, as saying the flight had landed in Ciudad Bolivar for refueling.

Angel Rangell, Venezuela's director of civil defense, said the plane caught fire shortly after taking off from Ciudad Bolivar. He said the pilot was unable to tell the control tower what went wrong.

Rangell said the passengers included tourists from Holland, Italy, Hungary and other European countries. There were also four Venezuelans on board, he said.

Firefighters extinguished a blaze at the crash site, Globovision said.

Rutaca Airlines operates between Trinidad and Venezuelan cities.

The DC-3 aircraft has been described by its manufacturer, The Douglas Aircraft Co., as the most famous and most durable aircraft in the history of aviation.

Poor people. Commizerations to their families.  Sad