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Ecuadorean Plane Found; 26 Dead

January 24, 2002

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QUITO, Ecuador (AP) _ Searchers found the wreckage of a plane from Ecuador’s state-owned oil company that crashed Jan. 17, and the air force said all 26 people on board had died.

The twin-engine propeller plane carrying 21 passengers and five crew members crashed on a hill in Colombian territory. It had been missing since it failed to arrive at Lago Agrio, an oil outpost in the Ecuadorean Amazon 110 miles northeast of Quito near the Colombian border.

All of the passengers were Ecuadorean employees of Petroecuador, according to the company, which owned the plane.

Without elaborating, Air Force Col. Humberto Andrade said the search patrols found ``remains″ of the plane.

They tracked down the aircraft after first finding an I.D. card belonging to one of the plane’s passengers, he said.

There was no immediate word on what caused the crash.

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