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Brazil air crash dead identified

A BRITISH-BORN Brazilian businessman and nine family members were among 14 people killed when their twin-engine plane crashed and exploded near a coastal resort in northeastern Brazil, a spokesman for his company said on Saturday.

Roger Ian Wright, a founding partner at Sao Paulo financial consulting firm Arsenal Investimentos, died along with his second wife, son and daughter from a previous marriage and their spouses, two grandsons and one granddaughter and a great aunt, the spokesman said.

The plane crashed Friday night just short of the Terravista Airport, a gateway for well-heeled guests arriving at the exclusive Terravista golf and condominium resort in the town of Trancoso, according to the state-run Agencia Brasil news agency.

Medical examiner Antonio Carlos Batista Brito said authorities determined the crash killed 14 people, all on the plane, raising the initial death toll by three.

Their "completely charred bodies" were sent to the Bahia state capital of Salvador where coroners will try to identify the remains through DNA tests or dental records.

The King Air B350 plane, which Wright owned, left Sao Paulo at 6:31pm and crashed at 9:13pm, said an air force spokesman who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with air force rules.

The cause of the crash was not known. Moments before hitting the ground, the pilot reported that "visual and landing conditions were normal," according to a statement issued by the airport.

Trancoso and its resorts are among Brazil's most famous because of the area's pristine beaches, year-round balmy climate and luxury accommodations. The destination is a getaway for rich Brazilians and foreigners.

The Terravista complex lies next to a Club Med resort, and the airport boasts a 1,500-meter runway.


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