Fourteen Killed in Colombia Plane Crash: President Speaks Out

March 10, 2019 Updated: March 11, 2019

BOGOTA, Colombia—Fourteen people were killed in a plane crash in the Colombian plains province of Meta on Saturday, March 9, the country’s civil aviation agency said.

The Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics said there were no survivors of the crash, which occurred after the DC-3 aircraft made a distress call at 10:40 a.m. local time.

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Wreckage is seen from a Douglas DC-3 passenger aircraft, which crashed on the Colombian plains province of Meta, San Martin, Colombia, on March 9, 2019. (Santiago Molina/Reuters)

The plane, which is owned by Laser Aereo airlines, was en route from the southern city of San Jose del Guaviare to central Villavicencio, the agency said.

It crashed about midway through its flight, in San Carlos de Guaroa municipality.

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Wreckage is seen from a Douglas DC-3 passenger aircraft, which crashed on the Colombian plains province of Meta, San Martin, Colombia on March 9, 2019. (Santiago Molina/Reuters)

The airline said it had no immediate comment.

In a later statement posted on Twitter, the agency named those who had died, including the mayor of a small town in the jungle province of Vaupes.

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Members of the Colombian civil defense work where a plane crashed in the Colombian plains province of Meta, San Martin, Colombia on March 9, 2019. (Santiago Molina/Reuters)

The aircraft’s navigability permissions were up to date, as were the medical certifications of its crew, the agency added.

Multiple Airplanes Crashed In March

An Ethiopian Airlines flight with 157 people thought to be on board crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday morning, March 10, from Ethiopia’s capital while headed to Nairobi, the airline said.

Ethiopia’s state broadcaster said all the passengers on the plane are dead.

Broadcaster EBC says the passengers included 33 nationalities.

Two Small Florida Planes Crashed

Five people died after a small plane crashed in Florida’s Lake Okeechobee on Friday, March 8.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office news release said marine unit deputies and rescue workers recovered the bodies from the plane’s fuselage several hours after the Friday afternoon crash.

Officials said the twin-engine Piper aircraft went down about 400 yards from the giant lake’s southeast shore, just north of the Pahokee Airport.

Records show the plane had taken off from Tampa International Airport.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the deaths. The victims weren’t immediately identified.

On Friday, March 1, a small plane crashed into a building in Fort Lauderdale, along a Florida beach, killing the pilot in a heavily trafficked tourist area.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephan Gollan told reporters the plane hit an 18-story condominium building just before noon and then fell several floors onto an outdoor pool deck. He said the pilot was killed, but no other injuries were reported. The building’s residents were evacuated.

Television shots show the yellow, single-engine Piper PA-25 crumpled with its wings snapped off.

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A small banner plane crashed into a building along a Florida beach on March 1, 2019. (Screenshot/Fox)

The pilot’s name was not released. The plane’s markings show it is owned by Aerial Banners Inc. The company’s website says it has more than 50 planes at locations around the country, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, and Alaska.

The company’s Fort Lauderdale office declined comment. The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating.

Vacationer Jim McHugh of New York City told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he was on the beach with his wife when the plane flew past heading north. He said the engine was not sputtering, but the plane banked hard to the left toward the tall buildings that line the area. He said he realized the plane was too low and told his wife it was going to crash just before it did.

“It’s a shame the poor guy didn’t bank to the right and to the water,” he told the paper.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Luis Jaime Acosta in Bogota

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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