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Angola loses top generals in plane crash

An Angolan military air force plane crashes, killing 17 people including four civilians and senior military personnel

AFP , Thursday 15 Sep 2011
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Angola's military said 17 people died in the crash of an air force plane in the central city of Huambo, the official Jornal de Angola newspaper reported Thursday.


A military official told AFP late Wednesday that 30 people had died, but the state daily cited a statement from the armed forces that said 17 were dead, including two civilian women and two children.


The Brazilian-made Embraer-120 turboprop was carrying 23 people when it crashed around 11:30 am (1030 GMT) Wednesday, carrying two military delegations and six civilians, the paper said.


Two lieutenant generals, Bernardo Leitao Francisco Diogo and Elias Malungo Bravo da Costa Pedro, as well as Brigadier General Demostenes Katata were identified among the dead.


The pilots and crew in the front of the plane survived the crashed, the paper said, while most of the passengers died.


The air force has launched an investigation into the cause of the crash. Provincial aviation officials told the paper that "technical problems" could have caused the fire that caused the crash.


The plane crashed in Huambo's Cachingue neighbourhood, where one witness told the paper that he saw the plane flying low and engulfed in flames before it slammed into the ground.


A photograph issued by state news agency Angop showed the plane broken in two pieces upon impact.
 

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