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[Published: Monday March 09 2009]

Cargo plane crashes in Uganda

Entebbe, Uganda, 09 March-(ANA)- An Antonov cargo plane en route to Somalia has crashed into Lake Victoria  after taking off from Uganda's main airport with 11 people on board, including three Burundian military officers.


One aviation source said he feared everyone had been killed. "It plunged into the lake and went down deep," the source said.


Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Ignatius Igundura said there were four crew and seven others on board the aircraft when it crashed. "The rescue is on right now," he said.


A Reuters photographer at the scene saw wreckage and divers searching the lake, but no bodies.


A Burundi army spokesman confirmed three of its soldiers -- a brigadier general, a colonel and a captain -- had died.


"The information we have is that the plane crashed five minutes after taking off at Entebbe Airport.


Burundi deplores the death of three of its officers who were on the plane," Adolphe Manirakiza told Reuters in Bujumbura.


There were no immediate word on what caused the crash.


An Ugandan army official said the chartered aircraft was flying to Somalia and was carrying one Ugandan soldier as well as food supplies.


Kampala and Bujumbura both contribute soldiers to a small African Union peacekeeping mission in Mogadishu.


Africa's air accident rate is six times worse than the rest of the world, the International Air Transport Association says.(ANA)

FA/ANA/09 March 2009---


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