Three dead as Russian cargo plane crashes

Afp April 22, 2010

MEXICO: Three foreigners were killed when a Russian-made cargo plane crashed into a rice field north of the Philippine capital, but three others survived, authorities said on Thursday.

The four-engine Antonov 12 aircraft was preparing to land at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport near the town of Mexico late Wednesday when an electrical problem caused a fire, crash investigator Jose Pedregosa said.

"It then slammed into the rice field," Pedregosa told AFP.

"Three people aboard, a Russian and two Uzbekistan nationals were killed," he said.

Pedregosa said the plane's fuselage was torn in half as it burst into flames upon impact. However, three other crew members believed to be Russians survived and were pulled out from the smouldering heap by rescuers and villagers who rushed to the crash site, he said.

The plane was leased to an international airfreight company and was transporting goods from the central city of Cebu when it crashed, Pedregosa said.

It crashed about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the airport and about 90 kilometres from Manila.

Pedregosa said investigators had already recovered the aircraft's data recorder box, which would be turned over to civil aviation authorities in Manila as part of the probe into the incident.


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