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Page last updated at 22:53 GMT, Friday, 30 October 2009

Nine survive Brazil jungle crash

Cessna C-98 Caravan taking off in the Amazon region in Brazil (Handout: Brazilian Air Force)
The C-98 usually carries passengers and cargo over short distances

An Indian tribe in Brazil has found at least nine survivors after a plane came down deep in the Amazon jungle, the Brazilian air force says.

Two people - a crew member and a passenger - are as yet unaccounted for.

The plane made a forced landing on the Itui river on Thursday morning. Members of the Matis tribe found the craft the next morning and notified authorities.

The Cessna C-98 Caravan was carrying four crew and seven government medics involved in a vaccination campaign.

The survivors were airlifted to Cruzeiro do Sul in the Brazilian state of Acre, the health ministry said. They were said to be in good condition.

The latest reports from the air force said two people were missing. An earlier statement said one person was believed to have died.

Jungle find

Map

The plane issued a distress signal an hour after it left Cruzeiro do Sul at 0830 local time (1230 GMT) on Thursday.

The air force had dispatched eight planes - including one with thermal sensors - as part of the search effort, but had failed to locate the plane.

By mid-morning on Friday, members of the Matis tribe told the National Indian Foundation (Funai) that they had found the plane "in the middle of the Amazon jungle".

They said it came down on the river between the Matis village of Aurelio and Rio Novo in the Muruga tribal area.

The area is home to a handful of Indian tribes who have little contact with the outside world.

The Cessna was en route to Tabatinga, in the state of Amazonas, when it went missing. The cause of the crash is not known.



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