Ninety-two are feared dead in airliner crash

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The Independent US

An Ecuadorean airliner carrying 92 people crashed yesterday in the fog-shrouded mountains of the Andes across the border in Colombia.

The Boeing 727-100 from Ecuador's Tame airline lost radio contact at 10.23am, the Civil Aviation department said in a statement. It was carrying 83 passengers and nine crew.

An airline spokesman said the plane, which took off from Quito, crashed in Colombian territory near Ipiales, a city just across the border from the plane's destination, the Ecuadorean city of Tulcan. "We don't have any more information at this time."

Juan Carlos Velez, Colombian Civil Aviation director, said his country offered to help locate the jet, but he could not confirm it went down in Colombia. The plane's planned flight path took it into Colombian airspace and over Ipiales to Tulcan, 110 miles north-east of Quito, the Tame spokesman said. The mayor's office in Ipiales, six miles north-east of Tulcan, said the city's airport was closed because of fog.

It was the second crash this month in the jungle-covered border region. A plane from Ecuador's state-owned oil company with 26 people on board crashed in Colombian territory on 17 January.