Wed, September 15, 2010
World > Americas

Venezuelan plane crash death toll rise to 17

2010-09-15 01:54:12 GMT2010-09-15 09:54:12 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

A soldier guards at a military base at Margarita Island of Venezuela, Sept. 14, 2010. A Venezuelan military helicopter crashed into a navy research vessel here Tuesday and plunged into the sea, killing two people and injuring five, an official said. (Xinhua)

Rescuers and fishermen search on waters near a military base at Margarita Island of Venezuela, Sept. 14, 2010. A Venezuelan military helicopter crashed into a navy research vessel here Tuesday and plunged into the sea, killing two people and injuring five, an official said. (Xinhua)

A rescuer looks on to the sea at a military base at Margarita Island of Venezuela, Sept. 14, 2010. A Venezuelan military helicopter crashed into a navy research vessel here Tuesday and plunged into the sea, killing two people and injuring five, an official said. (Xinhua)

Soldiers and rescuers gather at a dock of a military base at Margarita Island of Venezuela, Sept. 14, 2010. A Venezuelan military helicopter crashed into a navy research vessel here Tuesday and plunged into the sea, killing two people and injuring five, an official said. (Xinhua)

CARACAS, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of a plane crash occurred in the southeast of Venezuela rose to 17 with two of the 36 survivors having died of their severe injuries, the state-run Conviasa airline announced on Tuesday in a statement published by the Venezuelan Transport and Communications Ministry (MTC).

According to the statement, the Venezuelan Consortium of Aeronautics Industries and Air Services (Conviasa) said that in the crash 14 passenger and three crew members died, all of whom Venezuelan citizens.

Conviasa also "expressed the deepest sorrow to the victims' relatives," the statement said.

Conviasa also announced it established three attention centers for the victims' relatives, one in Puerto Ordaz city of Bolivar state, place where the crash took place, another in Margarita Island, the place from which the plane took off, and the third one in Conviasa's Training Center on Maiquetia, 25 kilometers north to Caracas.

The airline also said that the 34 survivors are being treated in the Central Hospital of Uyapar, and hospitals Chilemez, Puerto Ordaz, Unare, La Esperanza, Ciudamed and Cienciamb, all in Bolivar state.

Conviasa also committed to contributing with the investigations carried out by the Civil Aviation's Investigator Board of Accidents and also to make internal investigation to clarify the causes of the crash.

Meanwhile, on late Monday night, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez decreed a national mourning for the 17 deaths.

In a statement read by the state-run TV chain VTV, Chavez said "we are all in mourning and full of sorrow for this tragedy, which is a strong hit to the family of the homeland."

The French-built ATR-42 aircraft of Conviasa carrying 51 people plunged into the scrap yard of a steel making company at 10:30 a.m. (1500 GMT) on Monday shortly before it reached its destination, Manuel Carlos Airport, near Puerto Ordaz in Bolivar state.

The Conviasa Flight 2350 took off from the Caribbean resort of Margarita Island.

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