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Friday, 13 July, 2001, 01:29 GMT 02:29 UK
Poles killed in Venezuela crash
A small passenger plane has crashed on the north-western Venezuela coast, killing at least eight Polish nationals and four members of Venezuela's National Guard.

Most of the passengers were Polish businessmen.

According to initial reports, the Polish-built twin-propeller plane, an M28 Skytruck, crashed on take off and burst into flames at the Puerto Cabello airport, about 120 km (70 miles) west of the capital, Caracas.

An initial investigation of the incident indicates that the crash was caused by a technical failure.

According to local radio reports, the Poles were in Venezuela to demonstrate military equipment.

The plane was reportedly on its way to the Simon Bolivar International Airport, which serves Caracas.

The victims' bodies were too charred to be immediately identified, the radio reported.

The director of the airport, Manuel Fajardo, said there were no survivors.

He said rescue workers rushed to the scene to retrieve and identify the bodies and investigate the cause of the crash.

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