7 killed in Colombia plane crash

A small passenger plane crashed in northern Colombia on Wednesday (December 24), killing all six passengers and the pilot, who had warned air traffic control of a mechanical fault moments before, the website of the “El Tiempo” newspaper reported.

The Cessna aircraft operated by Alas, a small regional airline, disappeared while flying theBucaramanga to Malaga route in Santander province, the newspaper’s website said, adding all seven bodies were found inside or near the plane.

The pilot attempted to return to Bucaramanga, about 245 miles (395 km) northeast of Bogota, to land after informing air traffic controllers that he had observed a loss of oil pressure in the engine. The plane crashed shortly after in an area of scrubland.

An official from the Santander provincial government was on hand to recount the details of the tragedy.

“The pilot was able to send a message (to air traffic control) in which he reported the loss of control and so he wanted to return the plane to Bucaramanga, or somewhere where he could land the plane, but it seems the conditions weren’t viable, and so unfortunately, the plane crashed,” said government delegate Claudia Toledo.

The pilot of the plane was identified by “El Tiempo” as Carlos Rueda.

While speaking to reporters, Toledo confirmed the tragic details of the crash.

“Unfortunately, the seven people who were traveling on this plane all died; the six passengers and the pilot,” she said.

No one at the Civil Aviation Authority who is authorized to confirm the reports could be reached on Thursday.  (Reuters)