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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/8/2002 8:11:55 AM EST
A U.S. Air Force cargo plane crashed on a Puerto Rican mountaintop with at least 10 military personnel on board, and the island's top emergency official said all were feared . The plane struck a heavily wooded area near the town of Caguas, 20 miles south of San Juan, while flying in rain and fog Wednesday night. The force of the impact ripped apart the plane's fuselage, and parts of the debris caught fire, said Rafael Guzman, executive director of the State Emergency Management Agency. Nearby residents who gathered at the site told radio stations that body parts and pieces of the plane were scattered in a depression on top of the mountain. The plane was a Hercules C-130 of the Air Force Special Operations and was doing routine landing and takeoff exercises from Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, said Lt. Col. Nicolas Britto, a spokesman for Special Forces Command-South, which has headquarters at the station and coordinates Special Forces activity in Latin America and the Caribbean. He said the plane was carrying about 10 military personnel but declined to say which branch they represented. "With the destruction of the fuselage that we were able to observe, we do not believe we will be able to find any survivors," Guzman told The Associated Press. Rescuers tried to hack their way to the site through the night and early Thursday. The nearest homes were a two-hour hike from the crash site. Guzman said crews recovered one body Wednesday night and that the search for others was continuing. "The people who live in the area actually saw the plane when it came in low and hit several trees before actually going down," Guzman said. [url]http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020808/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/puerto_rico_plane_crash_10[/url]
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