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78 are killed in separate plane crashes

Rescuers help Sarah Jensen of Amery, Wis., as she arrives at an air base in Guatemala City after surviving a crash. 

Associated Press

Rescuers help Sarah Jensen of Amery, Wis., as she arrives at an air base in Guatemala City after surviving a crash. 

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan

Airliner goes down, kills 68 near airport

A passenger jet carrying 90 people crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday near the Kyrgyz capital, killing 68, government officials said.

The Boeing 737 was headed to Iran when it crashed near Bishkek's Manas International Airport, said government spokeswoman Roza Daudova. Twenty-two people, including two crew members, survived.

Several government officials said the plane belonged to Itek Air, a Kyrgyz company, but was operated by Iran Aseman Airlines. Itek Air has been banned from operating in the airspace of the European Union because it has failed to meet safety and aviation standards, according to a list published by the EU on July 24.

An airport official said that the crew reported a technical problem about 10 minutes into the flight and that the plane was returning to the airport when it crashed. The official said she was not authorized to give her name.

Among the survivors were seven out of 17 members of the volleyball team from a high school in the capital, Bishkek, officials said.

A small plane carrying U.S. humanitarian workers crashed in a field in eastern Guatemala on Sunday, killing 10 people, including five Americans, an aviation official and a survivor said.

The pilot called in engine trouble about 45 minutes after takeoff and tried to make an emergency landing, Civil Aviation director Jose Carlos said.

Eight passengers were killed, along with the Guatemalan pilot and co-pilot, Carlos said.

Four other Americans were injured and were being flown to a hospital in the capital.

Sarah Jensen, a 19-year-old from Amery, Wis., who survived the crash with minor cuts and bruises, said she and her family were headed to a village near El Estor to build homes for CHOICE Humanitarian, a group based in West Jordan, Utah. Her brother and father were killed in the crash, and her mother had serious burns and contusions.

MADRID

Spanair jet falters days after fatal crash

A jetliner owned by the same airline involved in a deadly plane crash in Madrid was forced to make an unscheduled stop Sunday because of a technical problem, the airline and Spanish aviation officials said.

Spanair Flight JK2565 was heading from the northeastern city of Barcelona to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands when it had to divert to Malaga on Spain's southern coast. The Canary Islands was the same destination where Wednesday's Spanair jet was headed when it crashed during takeoff at Madrid's Barajas airport, killing 154 people.

There were no injuries in the incident Sunday, and the airline said the problem did not constitute an emergency. Spanair said the pilot detected a possible fault in a backup generator not required for flight and decided to land as a precaution, according to the Spanish news agency EFE.

The plane was an MD-82 — like the plane that crashed Wednesday — and had 141 people on board.

Meanwhile, church bells tolled across the country as Spaniards prayed for victims and survivors of Wednesday's crash.

Associated Press

78 are killed in separate plane crashes 08/24/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:39pm]

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