- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 12, 2003

LIMA, Peru After two days of rain and fog, rescue helicopters spotted yesterday the wreckage of a Peruvian airliner that plowed into a mountain with 46 persons on board, including eight children. Officials confirmed that there were no survivors and said the recovery effort would be slow.
Pieces of the Tans airliner were scattered over an area 1,300 feet wide and about 1,600 feet below the peak of the mountain, Transportation Minister Javier Reategui said.
"The impact has disintegrated the plane. The passengers as well as the crew members have suffered the same impact," he said.
The plane's fuel exploded after the airliner hit the mountain, and rescue teams found only small pieces of metal and body parts, Mr. Reategui said. The 11,550-foot-high mountain, part of the Andes mountain range, is 10 miles northwest of the town of Chachapoyas, which is in Peru's high jungle about 400 miles north of Lima.
The plane was carrying four crew members and 42 passengers. Yesterday Tans updated its list of foreigners who were on the plane to six: two Belgians, a Cuban, two Dutch and a Spaniard.
Search crews reached the site hours after a helicopter put them down nearby. They had to get around cliffs and push through knee-deep mud to reach the wreckage, said air force Col. Juan Rodriguez, who is overseeing the operation.
Heavy rains and low clouds hampered efforts to locate the missing Tans Airlines plane, a Fokker 28 twin-engine turbojet, which lost radio contact with the Chachapoyas airport minutes before landing Thursday morning. The flight had originated in Lima.
It was not raining when the plane disappeared, but low-hanging clouds covered the mountains near Chachapoyas, meteorologists said, leading to speculation that the plane had slammed into a mountain covered by fog or clouds.

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