Guatemalan Plane Carrying 65 People Crashes in El Salvador
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ A Guatemalan airliner carrying 65 people on a flight from Miami crashed into the side of a volcano, officials said today. An Aviateca spokeman said 60 people are known to have died.
Aviateca’s Flight 901 originated in Miami on Wednesday and had stopped in Guatemala City. It was on its approach path to the San Salvador airport when it crashed on Chichontepec volcano, also known as San Vicente, 37 miles east of the Salvadoran capital, officials said.
The Boeing 737 was to have gone on to Managua, Nicaragua, and San Jose, Costa Rica, the airline said in a statement.
The plane was carrying 58 passengers and seven crew members when it crashed. Their nationalities were not immediately available.
An Aviateca reservations supervisor Eduardo Mirroquin said 60 people have been found dead.
``Sixty people have been found, all dead, by the time being,″ Mirroquin said by telephone from San Salvador.
Local radio reporters said witnesses heard three big explosions, and that the sky lit up.
Edgar Lizama, police commissioner of the San Vicente province, told The Associated Press that 100 rescue workers had headed to the volcano, but could not confirm rescuers had reached the site.
``We know for sure that there are a lot of people there trying to help the passengers and trying to do the best in order to resolve the problem we have now,″ said Aviateca’s San Salvador spokesman Emil Recinos. ``We don’t know if there are survivors on that flight. We don’t know yet.″
Recinos blamed the crash on the weather, but gave no details.