Eight killed in Suriname plane crash

A French rescue team with a helicopter assisted in the hunt for the plane and passengers, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Slijngaard, head of the National Coordinating Center for Disaster Management (NCCR) said.

"The French helicopters had to drop their rescuers vertically to reach the area. They returned at Stoelmans Island and reported they did not find any survivors and it doesn't look good down there", Slijngaard explained.

A joint rescue team left on Sunday  morning to hunt down the twin-engine Antonov AN-28 that crashed on Saturday in the jungle some 200 kilometers southeast of Paramaribo, carrying two pilots and six other Surinamese nationals.The rescuers had to deal with lots of obstacles such as heavy rain, hills, and a dense forest, Slijngaard explained.

In the late afternoon, the hunt was stopped due to bad weather conditions but search was continued this morning.The twin engine Antonov 28 that crashed belongs to Blue Wings Airline, a small Paramaribo-based airline. The flight was heading back to the domestic airport Zorg and Hoop, in Paramaribo.

"The plane crashed ten minutes after taking off from the domestic airfield Godo Olo at 14:30", Saboerali said.
Villagers reported seeing the plane loosing height, hearing an explosion and seeing a fireball in the air. In April 2008 the company had lost one Antonov 28 when it crashed at Benzdorp, near the border with French Guiana, killing 19 people.

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