View Full Version : 737 Crash Peru

24th Aug 2005, 08:24
Australian death 'unconfirmed'
From: By staff writers and wires
August 24, 2005

Crash ... a TANS Peru Boeing 737 jet, similar to one that crashed near the Amazon / AP AUTHORITIES are still trying to confirm whether an Australian was aboard a passenger plane that crashed in Peru's north-eastern jungle during a severe storm today.

Bad weather and darkness are hampering rescuers at the crash site near the jungle town of Pucallpa, and the Federal Government has been unable to confirm reports an Australian was aboard the aircraft.
State-run Peruvian airline TANS said its Boeing 737-200 plane with 100 people aboard, including an Australian, attempted an emergency landing without its landing gear in swampland 3km from the remote Pucallpa airport, 780km north-east of Lima.

The accident happened at 3.06pm (6.06am today AEST), TANS said.

Around 60 people from TANS Peru Flight 204 were being treated at hospitals, the Associated Press reported.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said it was aware of reports an Australian could have been aboard the plane.

"The Australian consul-general in Lima has been liaising with local authorities trying to confirm the identities of those killed and injured, to determine if any Australians were among them," a department spokeswoman said.
"A number of passengers were either not injured or suffered only superficial injuries and left the scene after receiving first aid, which has made identification more difficult.

"Activities at the site of the plane crash have been called off for the night due to poor weather and darkness."

The Boeing 737 went down after the pilot radioed that he could not land because of strong winds and torrential rains, the Associated Press reported.

The plane circled the airport then crashed near a highway, according to officials and radio reports.

The Associated Press quoted TANS spokesman Jorge Belevan as saying that another 15 foreigners were among the 92 passengers and eight crew, including 11 Americans, a Spaniard and two Italians.

A police officer told Peruvian radio that 40 bodies had been pulled from the wreckage.

"There could be more deaths," he said. "We assume some 60 people in total since we've rescued 20 injured persons."

A Radio Programs of Peru reporter at the scene said he saw several dead bodies, and a survivor said he had seen more than 20 people injured, mostly with burns and fractures.

The reporter said he saw dead children, including babies, around the crash site. He also saw the body of a woman in a flight attendant's uniform.

Hospital official Bertha Garcia said a hospital in the region had received five bodies and 23 injured.

One of the survivors, Tomas Ruiz, said the plane appeared to have been affected by bad weather.

"With 10 minutes remaining for us to land in Pucallpa we noticed that the plane was moving too much because of the weather," he said.

Another survivor, William Zea, nursing a burned hand, said: "The plane had problems and we dropped."

Mr Toledo said he had ordered all necessary assistance for survivors and rescue workers and said an investigation into the cause of the crash had already begun.

"I am following minute by minute the unfolding of this tragic accident which occurred in Pucallpa," Mr Toledo said.

Mr Belevan said: "Preliminary information shows that the accident was caused by a cross-wind at the moment of landing. Although the pilots are as skilled as they can be, unfortunately, the plane was lost".

The crash continues a dismal month for aviation safety worldwide, after crashes which killed 160 people in Venezuela and 121 people in Greece, while 16 people died when their plane dived into the sea near Sicily.

Three Australians died in the Greek air crash.

Those disasters followed an incident in Canada in which an Air France jet carrying more than 300 people skidded off the end of the runway and burst into flames on landing in wet, stormy weather.

All on board survived in what was widely described as a miracle escape.

The Peruvian crash was the sixth for TANS since 1992, according to the Aviation Safety Network. Most recently, 46 people died January 9, 2003, in the crash of a TANS Fokker 28-1000 in northern Peru.

With Reuters and Agence France-Presse