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South African plane crashes in Hunan
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-29 00:23

A small plane from South Africa crashed early Friday northwest of Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan Province.

The body of the South African pilot was found at about 6:30 pm on Friday by patrol crafts in the Dongting Lake area off the coast of the Miluo City, Central China' s Hunan Province.

After taking off from Guilin, in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the small Aquilla airplane was detoured by bad weather.

The South African pilot, who was flying a global charity mission, aimed to land in Wuhan, capital of neighboring Hubei Province, but crashed on route,

said the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC).

The plane disappeared at 28.54 degrees north latitude and 112.55 degrees east longitude, Xinhua News Agency quoted the air control centre at the Huanghua Airport in Changsha as saying.

Around 800 police, firemen and emergency workers are continuing to search the areas on the southern bank of Dongting Lake in Hunan Province for the wreckage.

Meanwhile, an investigation into the crash of an Azerbaijan cargo plane near Urumqi International Airport 11 days ago is completed.

Deliberate damage and alleged explosions on the plane have been ruled out as causes for the crash in the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, sources from CAAC said Friday.

All seven crew members of Il-76 cargo plane were killed.

Following the crashes the CAAC announced on Friday that, as of today, it will suspend approvals for chartered cargo planes from members of Commonwealth of Independent States.

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