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14 Dead As Plane Carrying Tourists Crashes In Brazil

A press conference held in Manaus, Brazil, about the plane crash on on September 16, 2023. AFP

Officials claimed 14 passengers were murdered after a plane crashed in the Brazilian Amazon while attempting to land in bad weather in the tourist town of Barcelos on Saturday, leaving no survivors.

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According to Amazonas state security secretary Vinicius Almeida, the small plane’s pilot was approaching the rural town in heavy weather with little visibility and looked to unintentionally start landing halfway down the runway.

The plane ran out of landing strip and crashed, killing all 12 passengers and two crew, he said.

Initial investigations indicated the passengers were all Brazilian men traveling to the region for sport fishing, the state government said in a statement.

“Our teams have been on the ground responding since the moment of the crash to provide the necessary support,” Governor Wilson Lima wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“My solidarity and prayers to the victims’ family and friends.”

Media reports showed the small white plane belly-down on a dirt track, its front end crumpled into the dense vegetation to the side.

The plane was an EMB-110, a twin-engine turboprop manufactured by Brazilian aircraft-maker Embraer.

It was on its way from the state capital, Manaus, to Barcelos, about a 90-minute flight.

Officials stated two planes that were reaching Barcelos at the same time had returned to Manaus due to bad weather.

According to G1, neighbors living near the airport were the first to arrive at the scene, assisting emergency personnel in removing the victims’ bodies off the jet.

People gathered around the crash site, many standing under umbrellas in the rain as emergency crews searched through the crumpled wreckage, according to television video.

According to authorities, the Brazilian air force and police will examine the disaster, but many aspects remain unknown.

Initial news reports had said US nationals were believed to be on the plane, but Amazonas officials said preliminary investigations indicated all the victims were Brazilian.

Sport fishing paradise

Officials said the victims’ bodies would be taken to the state capital Sunday to be identified.

Traveling sooner was impossible as take-offs and landings at night are not permitted in the region, they said.

“An air force aircraft will leave Manaus tomorrow around 5:00 am” with investigators and emergency officials, said Almeida.

“The expectation is that tomorrow we’ll be able to bring the bodies to Manaus and immediately take them for forensics and then release them to the families.”

Barcelos is located on the Rio Negro, an Amazon tributary, and is surrounded by several national parks and other protected areas.

This is peak fishing season in the region, which is a favored site for catching tropical river species such as “tucunare,” or peacock bass.

Amazonas is an adventure travel destination because it is largely covered in lush rainforest. According to Amazonastur, the state tourism company, it attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year.

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