Number of dead in Mexican plane crash rises to 13
The number of dead in an airplane accident late Tuesday in Mexico City rose to 13, while 10 people were taken to hospital for treatment of their injuries, the authorities said Wednesday.
Mexican Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino - one of President Felipe Calderon's closest advisors - and four other officials were among the dead. However, Mexican authorities stressed Wednesday that they have so far found no evidence that the crash was not an accident, dpa reported.
Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Angel Mancera said nine of the dead had been travelling in the plane that crashed, which also killed four people who were on the ground.
"The forensic medical service just informed me that we have 13 dead bodies," Mancera said.
He added that the remains are being examined to determine whether there is a further dead person.
There were no children among the dead, which included two women. The bodies were mostly dismembered and unrecognisable.
A total of 40 people were injured in the accident, but only 10 of them remained in hospital Wednesday. Four of the injured were in serious condition, with burns in 40-70 per cent of their bodies.
The authorities stressed that there was no indication that an attack or an act of sabotage may have caused the accident, although the pilot did not report any mechanical failures.
"I would like to stress that so far no indications have been detected that allow us to formulate hypotheses different from an accident, but we will investigate until we rule out all possibilities," said Mexican Transport Minister Luis Tellez.
He noted that the crew issued no emergency messages and that weather conditions were good at the time of the crash.
Experts from the United States and Britain were set to cooperate with the investigation, which could take several weeks.
The Lear Jet 45 airplane crashed at 6.45 pm (0045 GMT Wednesday) on an office area in Mexico City, when officials returned to the capital from San Luis Potosi. There was a great explosion that set several vehicles - parked and moving - on fire, although the plane crashed directly on the ground without hitting any buildings.
According to the control tower, the small plane had been approaching the Mexico City airport normally until it lost contact with air control personnel.