- Title: PERU: 117 PASSENGERS DIE AS BOEING 737 CRASHES IN THE ANDES
- Date: 29th February 1996
- Summary: LIMA, PERU (MARCH 1, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV NIGHT EXTERIOR OF LIMA'S JORGE CHAVEZ INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 0.04 2. SV GRIEVING RELATIVES COMFORT EACH OTHER / LV PEOPLE IN AIRPORT (6 SHOTS) 1.04 3. SCU PERUVIAN NUN NELLY MUNOZ SAYING FELLOW NUN ELSA DURA WAS ON THE FLIGHT. THEY DON'T YET KNOW THE REASON FOR THE ACCIDENT (SPANISH) 1.33 4. SV NIGHT CRYING WOMEN OUTSIDE AIRPORT (3 SHOTS) 2.03 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVAEWLZCUMPAF1X1TWQOPJ2MJSPY
- Location: LIMA, PERU
- Country: LATIN AMERICA Peru
- Duration: 00:02:05
- Story Text: In the worst air accident in Peru's history, a Boeing 737 crashed in the Andes late on Thursday (February 29), killing all 117 passengers and six crew members on board, authorities said.
"It's confirmed that lamentably there are no survivors," said a statement issued early on Friday by Peru's Faucett Airlines, which runs the passenger airline.
Scores of distraught friends and relatives of passengers immediately congregated at Lima and Arequipa airports, weeping and demanding information at Faucett offices.
One elderly woman burst into tears after hearing the passenger list read aloud at Lima's Jorge Chavez international airport and cried out "Why her? Why her? Why her?" The plane left Lima's international airport at 7:12 p.m. local time (0012 GMT Friday) and went down at about 8:15 p.m. (0115 GMT) as it prepared to land at the city of Arequipa, 625 miles (1,000 km) south of Lima.
Officials said the plane slammed into a mountain, possibly in misty conditions, but they could not confirm this and added that it may have suffered "mechanical problems." The passengers included 77 Peruvians, 33 Chileans, two Belgians, two Bolivians, two Canadians and one Brazilian.
Peruvian nun Nelly Munoz said her fellow nun Elsa Dura was among the victims. "Quite simply, we sent her to Arequipa and this accident has happened. We are told that there are no survivors.
They do not know the fundamental cause of the accident," she said.
Search crews located the plane's burned out wreckage in a remote, barren canyon 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level near Arequipa. The first reporters to reach the scene said only the remains of four to five bodies could be identified in a mass of charred flesh and rubble.
Airport officials said the Boeing had been cleared for landing and crashed five minutes before it was due to touch down at Arequipa's Rodriguez Ballon airport.
They said another airplane sighted the Boeing in flames on the ground.
An official at the Arequipa airport told Reuters that up to 146 people may have been on board, but this version was denied by Faucett representatives.
A helicopter flew over the area to locate the crash and direct rescue crews who rushed to the scene from Arequipa.
Prior to Thursday's tragedy, the worst air accident in Peruvian history was a crash that killed 89 passengers and crew near the Andean city of Cuzco in the 1970s.
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