Collision mystery in jungle air crash

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Rescue planes yesterday discovered the wreckage of a Brazilian passenger jet that went missing over the Amazon jungle with 155 people onboard.

Authorities said the wreckage of the newly delivered Boeing 737-800 was discovered in an "area of difficulty" in the vast Mato Grosso state.

There was no word about the fate of the passengers, but if there are no survivors it will make it the worst plane crash in Brazilian history.

The Brazilian air force had searched the Amazon region on Friday night and Saturday morning after it was reported that the Gol Airlines jet had disappeared. The authorities believe that the plane collided with another jet, which landed safely.

A statement issued by the country's Federal Aviation Authority said: "During the afternoon there was another incident with a Legacy plane. It is impossible to confirm that there is a relation between the incident which caused the [Legacy] crew to perform an emergency landing in Cachimbo and the disappearance of the Gol plane."

Gol flight 1907 had left the jungle city of Manaus en route for Brasilia before heading to Rio de Janeiro's Antonio Jobim International Airport. Gol said that there were 155 people aboard the jet - 149 passengers and six crew members.

Early on Saturday morning, the airline released a list with 145 names. Around 70 family members and friends of those on board were taken to a warehouse owned by Gol at the Brasilia airport to await further news. Sergio Misaci, 47, said his brother, Lazaro, was aboard and travelling to Brasilia to celebrate their mother's 80th birthday. "I have all the hope in the world. We have to root for them and have faith in God," he said.

The flight between Manaus and Rio is popular with foreign tourists, but there was no word on the nationalities of those aboard. The Gol flight went missing in the same region where a Varig 737-300 plane crashed in 1989, killing eight people out of 54 on board.