MANAUS, BRAZIL – Investigators traveled Sunday to a remote town in the Brazilian Amazon to probe a plane crash that killed 14 people and left no survivors, as authorities brought the bodies to be identified.
The small turboprop plane was flying a group of Brazilian sport fishermen into the northern town of Barcelos Saturday when it crashed in stormy weather, apparently after starting its descent too late and skidding off the end of the runway, said officials in Amazonas state.
A team of five air force investigators flew from state capital Manaus to Barcelos to begin analysing the crash, which killed all 12 passengers and two crew aboard.
A second flight carried empty coffins to the town so the bodies could be brought back to Manaus to be identified, along with a second set of teams to transport them and assist in the investigation, officials said.
Military personnel could be seen at the Manaus airport using a forklift to load the dark wood coffins onto the air force plane early Sunday, an AFP photographer said.
“The Amazonas state government dispatched teams to help transport the victims of the accident from Barcelos, 399 kilometers (about 250 miles) from Manaus,” state officials said in a statement.
“The teams comprise 10 people from the department of forensic investigation, emergency response and police.”
Officials said the bodies were expected to arrive in Manaus around 6:00 pm (2200 GMT) Sunday.
Covered mostly in dense rainforest, Amazonas is a popular adventure travel destination. It receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, according to Amazonastur, the state tourism company.
Located on the Rio Negro tributary of the Amazon, Barcelos, a town of 19,000 people, is a popular jumping-off point for expeditions into the jungle.
The plane, a twin-engine turboprop made by Brazilian company Embraer, was operated by regional airline Manaus Aerotaxi.
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