100 die as jet hits suburb

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At least 100 people were feared dead after a Brazilian airliner crashed into a Sao Paulo neighbourhood yesterday, tearing through an apartment block, a supermarket and houses. Officials said all 89 passengers and six crew of the TAM Fokker were killed as well as at least three people on the ground.

"There almost certainly are victims in the houses, but we won't know for sure until we get reports from firefighters," a rescue worker said. Many of the passengers were returning home to celebrate the Day of the Dead today. The Mayor of Sao Paulo declared three days of mourning.

At least one foreigner, David Francis Tobolla, an American, was among the dead, said his employers, Citibank. The British consulate said there was so far no indication that any Britons had been on board.

Witnesses said TAM Flight 402, which had just taken off for Rio de Janeiro, clipped an apartment building, ploughed through the top of a supermarket and houses and left "a river of fire" along streets in the middle-class Jabaquara suburb. It had covered barely a mile from the domestic Congonhas airport.

Residents said that the weather was clear at the time and there was no immediate explanation as to why the aircraftcrashed.