At least 30 survive Venezuela plane crash
Cause still unknown, pilot radioed that aircraft was in difficulty
At least 30 people are reported to have survived when a Conviasa plane carrying 47 people crashed Monday during a domestic flight in Venezuela.
A plane, shown in this image taken from television, crashed in Venezuela Monday.
Bolivar state Gov. Francisco Rangel Gomez told Venezuela-based television network Telesur that survivors were being treated in local hospitals.
"We still don't know the exact cause," Gomez told state TV, adding that the pilot had radioed warning the plane was in difficulty.
A Reuters witness at a nearby Puerto Ordaz hospital said 30 survivors — and two corpses — had been brought in from the crash site where wreckage was still smoldering after the mid-morning accident, hampering rescue efforts.
The aircraft went down about 10 kilometres east of the city of Puerto Ordaz in the eastern part of Venezuela. It was heading to the Caribbean tourist island of Margarita with 43 passengers and four crew on board.
The plane crashed onto property belonging to Sidor, which has a large mill and land near Ciudad Guayana, said Transportation Minister Francisco Garces.
Conviasa is Venezuela's state-owned airline, headquartered near Caracas. It has been in operation since 2004.
In the last major crash in Venezuela in 2008, a plane belonging to private local airline Santa Barbara with 46 passengers on board crashed into mountains. There were no survivors.
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