46 killed as airliner crashes into mountain

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The Independent US

All 46 people aboard a Venezuelan passenger plane died when it slammed into an Andean mountain, rescue crews confirmed today.

"By the way it crashed we can determine there are no survivors," said Gen. Ramon Vinas, head of the civil aviation authority.

Search teams reached the remote site by helicopter and had to lower themselves with ropes onto the "complicated" mountainous terrain, Vinas said.

"The impact was direct. The aircraft is practically pulverized," firefighter Sgt. Jhonny Paz told the Venezuelan television channel Globovision.

The twin-engine aircraft crashed yesterday at an altitude of 4,100 meters (13,500 feet) in an area known as Los Conejos plateau within the Sierra La Culata National Park, officials said.