Girl survives Panama plane crash

Other News Materials 26 December 2007 04:24 (UTC +04:00)

A 12-year-old US girl has been found alive in the wreckage of a light aircraft which crashed into the western Panama jungle in bad weather on Sunday.

Francesca Lewis was injured and suffering from hypothermia when found by locals searching for the plane.

She has been transferred to hospital and reportedly in a stable condition.

However, her 13-year-old friend Talia Klein, Talia's California businessman father Michael Klein and the Panamanian pilot were all killed in the crash.

Their bodies were found in the wreckage of the plane.

Mr Klein had chartered the pilot Edward Lasso to fly him, his daughter and her friend to the Chiriqui volcano, about 285 miles (460 km) west of Panama City.

On Sunday morning they had departed from Islas Secas, an island in the Pacific Ocean owned by Mr Klein, where they had been on holiday.

The flight should have taken about 45 minutes, but the plane suddenly disappeared from radar about noon.

Mr Klein's ex-wife Kim had offered a reward of US$25,000 to anyone able to locate the plane.

Mr Klein, was the chief executive officer of Pacificore LLC, a Santa Barbara-based company that manages several hedge funds. ( BBC )