- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

QUITO, ECUADOR (AP) - A small army plane carrying three soldiers crashed into a building in a populated neighborhood of Ecuador’s capital on Thursday.

Black smoke poured from the building on Quito’s north side as rescuers searched for victims and survivors.

There was no immediate word on any casualties, but Associated Press journalists at the scene saw rescuers carry off a young girl with a head wound and other injured people.

Defense Minister Javier Ponce said the aircraft was a Beechcraft army plane on a training run with a major, a lieutenant and a sergeant on board.

A thick mist shrouded the district at the time of the crash, said witness Eric Samson, who saw the aircraft slam into the side of the four-story building.

Soon after, explosions could be heard from inside.

“It was horrible. I heard the plane flying very low, then I heard the explosion,” neighbor Camille Avsert told the AP. “We ran out onto the street and saw fire.”

The crash happened about 5:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. EDT; 2230GMT).

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