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24 killed in plane crash

BRAZILIAN authorities yesterday recovered the bodies of 24 people who were killed when their small plane crashed in an Amazon jungle river.

The dead were found inside the twin turboprop plane, which went down about 80 kilometers from the jungle city of Manaus, firefighter Major Jair Ruas Braga said.

Seven children were killed, along with nine women and eight men. A 9-year-old child was among four people who survived the Saturday afternoon crash.

Relatives of the survivors told local media that one of the engines apparently stopped just before the pilot tried an emergency landing in the Manacapuru river.

The survivors "opened the rear door and left the plane while it was submerging," Walcione Tavares told Globo TV. Rescuers reached them at the scene later Saturday.

Another relative, Roberto Buchdid, said his wife called and told him to alert the authorities.

The plane belonged to the Manaus Aerotaxi and was making a 300-kilometer flight from the city of Coari to Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state.

Police said the flight was packed with members of a family heading to Manaus to celebrate a relative's birthday.


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