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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 07:48 GMT
No survivors in Turkish jet crash
Wreckage of plane
The plane crashed shortly before it was due to land

All 56 people on board a passenger plane that crashed in south-western Turkey have died, the airline's chief executive has said.

Initial reports from rescue helicopter teams found no survivors, said Tuncay Doganer, head of Atlasjet.

The McDonnell Douglas 83 was carrying 49 passengers and seven crew, he said.

It was on a domestic flight from Istanbul to the town of Isparta when it disappeared from radar screens shortly before it was due to land.

A local official said the pilot had requested permission to land when contact was lost at about 0136 local time (2326 GMT).

Crisis desk

The wreckage was discovered near the town of Keciborlu in the mountainous Isparta province about 12km (7.5 miles) from Isparta airport.

Map showing route

A local reporter at the scene described luggage and debris strewn across a large area, which police have cordoned off.

Mr Doganer said the cause of the crash was not clear.

"There was no rain, snowfall or storm at the plane's destination. There were no technical problems with the plane. The pilot was in communication with the tower until the plane disappeared," he said.

A team of experts has been sent to the site to look for the plane's "black boxes" that record flight information.

Turkish state television has been reading out a list of names of those on board and a crisis desk has been set up at Isparta's airport, reports say.

Worried relatives have begun arriving at airports in Istanbul and Isparta, waiting for news of their loved ones. Others have headed to the crash scene, local media reported.

The flight was operated by the privately-owned Atlasjet, a low-fare Turkish airline run by two Turkish tour operators, Etstur and Oger Tours.

Atlasjet has 15 planes for domestic and international flights.

SEE ALSO
In pictures: Turkey plane crash
30 Nov 07 |  In Pictures
Air disasters timeline
16 Sep 07 |  Special Reports
Country profile: Turkey
23 Oct 07 |  Country profiles

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