Eight dead in small plane crash in Mexico

Crashed

A small private airplane crashed shortly after take-off in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, killing at least eight people and sending a plume of black smoke over the airport, officials said.

Luis Manuel Garcia, an official at the Chiapas civil protection service, told reporters yesterday that the preliminary reports indicated that three adults, three minors and the pilot and co-pilot died in the incident at Tuxtla Gutierrez airport.

Witnesses saw smoke coming out of an engine after the Piper PA-31 Navajo airplane took off. Television images showed a huge tower of smoke billowing from the airport after the plane hit a meadow, sparking a brush fire.

Local media said the victims included a family heading to their native state of Oaxaca.

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