Four Britons killed in Peru plane crash

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The Independent US

Four Britons died in Peru after their light aircraft crashed near one of the country's most famous tourist attractions, it was confirmed last night.

Andrew Brown, 30, Gayle Callow, 34, Alastair Rowe, and Warren Denham, in his thirties, were killed when their Cessna plane came down in a field near the centuries-old Nazca Lines markings.

Two Peruvian crew members also died in the crash.

The plane is thought to have suffered engine trouble and crashed after taking off from the local Maria Reiche airport at about 11.15pm British time on Saturday.

Local police said the aircraft hit the field as the pilot and co-pilot tried to make an emergency landing.

The Nazca Lines, mysterious geoglyphs etched into the desert centuries ago by indigenous groups, are a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of Peru's main tourist destinations.

About 240 miles south east of the capital Lima, the glyphs are only fully recognisable from the air and 30-minute overflights are popular with travellers.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the British Ambassador to Peru and another member of the consular staff had travelled to the scene of the crash from Lima.

"The Peruvian authorities have informed us that four British nationals died in the plane crash on Saturday October 2 in Nazca," he said.

"Next of kin have been informed and we are providing consular assistance."

Several dozen planes in Nazca offer flights over the Lines, but there have been allegations of poor supervision of the aircraft.

In February, a Cessna 206 carrying three Chileans and four Peruvians over the lines crashed and killed everyone on board.

Another crash in April 2008 killed five French tourists, though their pilot survived.

Foreign Office travel advice warns about the incidents.

It says: "Following the latest incident the Peruvian Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has carried out an inspection of aircraft operating from Nazca airport.

"All air companies offering flights over the Nazca Lines, either from Nazca or from the city of Ica, must have a co-pilot on board.

"Any aircraft flying over the Nazca Lines must be no more than 15 years old and must also be able to accommodate at least eight passengers and two crew members."