11 Killed in Crash of Plane Carrying Australian Leaders
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) _ A small chartered jet carrying local political leaders home from a conference crashed in northern mountains, killing all 11 people on board, rescuers said today.
The plane, a Cessna Citation, went down Friday in a heavily forested area 875 miles north of Brisbane and 35 miles southwest of Cairns in the northern sub-tropical state of Queensland, authorities said.
It smashed into a steep slope near Mt. Emerald, 10 miles south of the town of Mareeba. Rescuers were hampered in their efforts by fog and a severe thunder storm.
Greg Hoffman, secretary of the Queensland Local Government Association, said the 10 passengers on the plane were council members from five north Queensland towns and cities. Police said the victims included Cairns Mayor Keith Goodwin.
The aircraft was flying to Mareeba from Proserpine, 360 miles to the south, when it dropped off radar screens, the Australian Associated Press reported.
A Weather Bureau spokesman said flying conditions in the crash area were bad at the time.